Starting uni – tips from a current student

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If you’re starting university this year, you may be wondering what to expect and how to get the most from your time as a student. Sally Stephens (2nd year BA Childhood and Youth Professional Studies) student shares her experience of starting university and explains what she found useful.

“As a mature student the thought of starting university was very daunting. I felt apprehensive and unsure about what university would be like and whether it would really be for me.
However, despite my initial uncertainty, my first week went really well. My first lecture was great, the tutors made me and my fellow students feel at ease, explaining everything about the course and how it all worked. Also, I was reassured to find that the other students I met during the first week of my course were really friendly; we have since formed a very supportive group.
Here are the things I’d suggest if you’re starting uni this year.

1.    If you’re struggling with your work in any way, get advice from your PAT (Personal Academic Tutor) and visit Student Support and Guidance. If you’re offered help, book regular appointments. I found that getting support really helped with my grades.

2.    Make an effort to attend tutorials with your tutor. I found tutorials very helpful in understanding the material we were covering. In my experience, tutors are very approachable and supportive.

3.    Listen to all the advice and support given in lectures and follow up on it. Also listen to and make a note of key points your tutor gives you.

4.    Ask staff for help when using library services. The library ordered some great journal articles for me after I talked to them about the topics I was studying.

5.    Get together with fellow students, it’s great to get different ideas and perspectives on your subject and you can support one another.

6.    Become a STAR (Student Academic Rep), you meet some great people and can also put the views of your fellow students forward to staff in the university.

7.    Read all handouts you are given by your tutors, you can get lots of great information from them.

8.    If you have any kind of crisis don’t just panic or worry and hope it will go away. Instead go and talk to your PAT (Personal Academic Tutor) or Student Support and Guidance. They will offer support and practical suggestions to help you get on top of things.

9.    If you work hard and seek help when you need to you will get the results you hope for.

10.     Feel proud of yourself – It is such an achievement when you have finished your essays and presentations and get your results.

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