My University Experience & Tips

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Hello lovely readers!

As you can tell from the title this is going to be about my University Experience and some tips I hope will be helpful for you.

I started University in 2010 studying Criminology & Psychology and finished this year. I originally chose to study Forensic Science but didn't receive enough points to get a placement. I'm not going to lie I was gutted, I only had one option at that point as I didn't chose another course or university. After discussing other options with a teacher I decided to look through clearing. Clearing is basically a list of all the universities and their courses with spaces and the number of points you need to get in.
Three courses actually stood out to me and I decided to research the courses more and phoned the university helpline to gain more information. I went on to the Criminology & Psychology course with a two week tester to see if it was something I wanted to study and I ended up having the most amazing three years and achieved my degree at the end of it!
Here are 10 tips from my experience I hope helps.


Tip #1
If you don't get onto the course you wanted don't panic. As I said previously I found another course that actually turned out to be better for me. There are options like clearing but in all honesty if you didn't get on the course because of points double check. If your not out by much and there are still places available they may except you.

Tip #2

I am a very chatty person but I was terrified about interacting with new people. I was lucky enough to have a friend I hadn't seen for a while but the first friend I made actually spoke to me first. The lecturer did say everyone chat with the person next to you but she didn't have to. That made my confidence grow so I would open a conversation with someone by either saying "Hello, my name is Hannah" or "Hi i'm Hannah you liking the course so far?".

Tip #3

Get a Planner. Being unorganised at university isn't going to be the best. I found that even though I didn't always update it with every task I was able to keep track of how many weeks until deadlines. It gave me a sense of time and stability throughout my first year as personally ,I found the reading very time consuming.

Tip #4

READ READ READ. This is going to be viable to almost every course. When lecturers say to you this is the core reading and these are suggestions always pick at least 2-3 of the suggestions on top of the core to get more opinions/more in depth studies on the theory or subject. Also if you use journals in your subject use them in your assignment. I found that journals are the most recent and up to date way of sourcing information to use or critique.

Tip #5

Don't be ashamed of asking for help. Whether this is off a lecturer or the university if it is there for you then don't be embarrassed to use it. Seriously. A lot of other students will be in your position and it is completely understandable as the transition into the lifestyle or work load can take its toll. So whether it is to do with an assignment or a personal difficulty there is someone there.

Tip #6

Be safe on nights out. I know you will hear this from the university and maybe your parents but do take precautions. Don't let anyone you don't know or trust buy or hold your drink, it is scary but you never know who anyone really is. Don't take out your bank card, always keep some money aside for emergencies or taxi fare if you loose your card it may be a few days until your able to get a new one. And, personally, I wouldn't take my passport as I.D I would always take my provisional/license as it was more compact and its a lot cheaper to replace if it is lost, damaged or stolen.

Tip #7

Budget. Now I lived at home whilst at university so I didn't have to do this as much and was lucky to have a part time job but I saw some of the difficulties my friends had. I learnt that budgeting was useful/stressful. My advice would be to always think of the necessities other than food & toiletries. For example, if you have to pay for internet then do. University libraries get extremely busy and it is always good to be able to work within your own space. Having Sky TV, being able to go out drinking every weekend or having the most recent fashion item isn't.

Tip #8

Be careful with what you think is "normal university experiences" and peer pressure. You make your own decisions, just because everyone else can drink so much doesn't mean you can it will only come back on you in the form of vomiting or the hangover from hell. So be safe in determining what choices you make for you and choices you make for others.

Tip #9

Something I now wish I did more was join in with societies. I spent my first year dipping in and out of two societies and I now wish I stuck with them. It can open up more opportunities in making friends or experiencing new things and it is something that will look good on applications for jobs or further education. I really enjoyed the time I spent, although brief and it doesn't have to be a major thing. For example, I spent time going to and supporting the University's American Football team.

Tip #10

Remember that university is for you. It is your chance to say this is what I want to do and I am at this university taking the steps to get there. If you feel that it isn't what you wanted then there is nothing wrong in taking a different path, university isn't for everybody. Each job has many paths and university isn't always the way.

I hope that these tips help some of you whilst at University or even if your thinking about it.

Comment if you have any questions or if you want to know about anything I will be happy to help as much as i can :)

Thanks for reading!


Hannah Marie x


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