The Gap From A-Levels to University (My Personal Experience) – OurWarwick
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The Gap From A-Levels to University (My Personal Experience)

PakistanUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Mahnoor Shoaib | Law with a Year Abroad in English (Warwick Scholar) Contact Mahnoor
I have been involved with the following societies and roles…
Find out more about me Contact Mahnoor

Have you been wondering what the shift is like from A-Levels to university? Whether it is regarding the academic change or the change in your living situation, I am here today to help shed some light on this from my personal experience!

Let’s start with the academic change from A-Levels to university; the most stark difference between the two is the level of independent study required for completing a university degree. Of course, I can only speak from the experience of a Law student, however I am sure that the increase in the amount of independent study is experienced by students of almost any degree, as my friends (who have different degree subjects to me- for instance politics, psychology, biology or sociology) felt the exact same way! I felt this gap most prominently when I attended my first lecture and had no clue how many notes I should be taking down, nor did I know how the lecture system even works in general! So here is my first tip to overcome this gap- have a look at the lecture notes available on Moodle and add onto them during the lecture (rather than making notes from scratch) as this will save you time and allow you to focus more on understanding lectures rather than focus on trying to type everything down. Lecture notes will not always be available though, in which case I usually prefer to take brief notes during the lecture and focus on understanding the material, and later use Lecture Capture to go over the lecture again to take detailed notes in my own time. Another alternative is to make notes from the readings set for you before the lecture- remember that your readings will be quite similar to the lecture content anyway, so making notes from the readings before a lecture would also be more time- efficient.

Another change to address (other than the academic change) would be the change in your living situation- the main difference is how independent you have to be whilst living on campus compared to living at home. I struggled a lot with this as someone who rarely cooks my own meals, and so I had to learn how to adapt. You may struggle with a lot of things similar to this- perhaps it’s cooking, perhaps it’s cleaning; maybe it’s doing the grocery shopping or maybe it’s doing the laundry on your own- either way, you should know that you aren’t alone! People all over the university will be struggling to do things independently for the first time so don’t fret! The only way to overcome these challenges is by actively taking steps to improve- I encouraged myself to learn how to cook, just like you may need to encourage yourselves to do the thing you aren’t used to doing. After a while, you may even enjoy doing it, so don’t be afraid to try new things and be aware that you will most likely have to do so upon entering university!

I hope this gave you a picture of the gap from A-Levels to university and how to adapt to it- let me know if there are any other changes that you are curious about and, as always, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible with my opinions and advice!

PakistanUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Mahnoor Shoaib | Law with a Year Abroad in English (Warwick Scholar) Contact Mahnoor
I have been involved with the following societies and roles…
Find out more about me Contact Mahnoor

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