The transition from school to university
The transition from school to university is something that I have touched upon in some of my blog posts, but it definitely deserves to have a more detailed post.
There are various challenges you will face which I will go through;
There is a big difference between the way things are taught at school and university. No matter what schools say about not spoon-feeding information to students and letting students carry out independent work; the truth is you are given a lot of information on the plate. At university; you attend lectures which involve the lecturer discussing a specific topic for an hour (usually), with little opportunity for questions and answers. Seminars are small group discussions where you have the opportunity to discuss the topic taught during the lecture and ask your seminar tutor any questions.
This can seem rather daunting, but university staff are aware of the fact most students will be in a similar position, and so will do everything they can to make the academic transition a smooth one.
Top tip: Stay on top of your work, be aware of your deadlines, don’t leave work till the last minute, and be consistent – set out a work plan and try to stick to it. -> Doing all of this will stop you facing a last-minute panic during exam/deadline time.
At school, you meet the same people (your classmates) every day – forcing you to maintain a friendship. At university, you will probably see the people on your course once or twice a week, so unless you make an effort to go out of your way to meet up with them, making friends will prove a challenge.
Top tip: Attend your lecturers early during the first few weeks, this is a great way to talk to people on your course, and is the main way I became friends with most of them.
If Warwick is nearby to you, this won’t be so much of a challenge, but if you live further away, it may just be.
Top tip: Have a look at things to do in the local area and on campus, and find people to do them with! I would also try to avoid going home often, if at all. Being homesick is okay, but going home regularly is a short term way of dealing with it. Try to stay on campus as much as possible, and you’ll find it quickly becoming a second home.
University is tough. It’s a place where if you don’t make an effort to buy new milk, it won’t magically appear.
However; it really isn’t as daunting as it seems. You will quickly find yourself getting into it all. Initially, you may find yourself pretending to know what you are doing, but soon that will turn into an actual schedule of efficiently completing all the tasks which needs to be done.
Top tip: Set out a mental schedule of your responsibilities; for instance; I tried going to Tesco on Sundays (when it was usually the least busy, perfect time to buy a Subway…), and doing my laundry before I left so that it would be done by the time I arrived, ready for me to then put it in the dryer.
Shanita 🙂 xo