Step Up: School to Uni
Despite what some people had told me, I found a definite step up between school and university. The main difference was the in term one it was normal to have six different assignments each week, so even though I was studying fewer subjects compared to college, I had a lot more work to hand in!
are also a very different type of learning. In my lectures, most people used a pen and paper to take notes and copy down key ideas. Some lecturers would expect us to write down everything that they wrote on the board, whilst others would suggest that we take our own notes of what was said and written. Lecture style very much varies between lecturers, so it’s a good idea to be flexible with your notetaking and see what technique suits you best.
Asking again depends on the lecturer; some lecturers encouraged us to ask questions during the lecture if we didn’t understand something, though others preferred to be asked at the end. As the pace of lectures can be quite fast, I personally preferred to make a note of something I wasn’t fully understanding and do my own extra reading after the lectures so I didn’t miss another important point! After most dastardly difficult (or particularly insightful) lectures though, there would be a crowd of students at the front of the lecture theatre wanting to ask the lecturer a question.
As well as lectures, as a science student I had Tutorials are with a member of your subject department, and I’ve talked about them in more detail here. My supervisor and problem class tutors were fourth year students who marked our assignments and then went through the questions we didn’t get right. This was so useful, as we could also clarify any points from lectures and gain experience of more challenging questions.
The most important difference between school and university though is the emphasis on I would not have been able to pass my first year without doing my own work, be that extra reading, doing extra problems or making sure I was really confident on important concepts. It’s a good idea to get used to the idea of being proactive and inquisitive before you get to university! Saying that, it is exciting to be able to steer your study and really explore ideas that interest you! I have definitely become more interested in my subject from doing additional reading, and look forward to learning more next year!