Congratulations to those who have received your A-Level result today. You made it! I hope you achieved what you wanted. If not you should still be proud of what you achieved as you worked incredibly hard. Though it sounds cheesy, it is true that everything happens for a reason, even if you can’t see that reason now.
I still remember my A-level results day. I didn’t sleep at all the night before as I was so nervous! I got the grades to get into my first choice University, I was thrilled. Being the only one awake in my house, I ran upstairs to my Mum who was asleep in bed and woke her up to tell her! Then sat on her bed crying tears of happiness and relief.
Before I get started on my advice for Freshers, I wanted to highlight that University is not the only option in life. Some people flourish better in a work environment than they do in an academic environment. Research all your options and do what feels right for you.
I know schools, a least from my experience and through speaking to my friends, really push for you to go to University. This is purely because a school will often advertise how many of their students go to University. They did not discuss alternative options such as degree level apprenticeships, working or a gap year. A degree just like you’re A-level grades does not determine who you are or whether you will be successful or happy.
Now that’s covered here is my advice for Freshers;
I was told that I was going to be great friends with the people in my halls but that was not the case. Neither of us where ever mean to each other we were just different people. I quickly made friends elsewhere and started to appreciate the time to myself when I was in my room.
Join the societies and clubs you are interested in. You will meet like-minded people to yourself so is a great way to make friends. Most of the friends I made were through the Dance Society and CoppaFeel (breast cancer charity) Society.
Don’t be afraid of saying hi first. I always made a point to say hello to the person sitting next to me in a lecture or those waiting outside my lecture hall. Not only is it great to get to know the people on your course but it is also how I met my best friend. She jokes that I basically just came up to her and said “Hi! let’s be friends and that was it”. My best friend was shy in the first year so wouldn’t have approached me. I’m so glad I said hi to her as she really is awesome!
Moving Away From Home
Bring home comforts like teddy, photos of family, favourite bedding etc. It is important to make your new place feel like a home from home so bring things that make you feel at home. Try and keep busy as this will help with the homesickness. Have a plan of when you are next going home s you have that to look forward too.
Some essentials which are often forgotten include:
- Spare bedding- nothing worse than coming home to an unmade bed cause your only bedding has just been washed.
- Clothes drying rack (or clothes horse)- save yourself a couple of quid at the laundrette by air drying your clothes.
- A laundry bag you can carry to the laundrette.
- Tupperware boxes for lunches and leftover food.
- Cutlery with a coloured handle, then you know it is yours!
Lecture and Studying Advice
Decide how you want to take notes. I prefer to type my notes in the comment section of the powerpoint slides but my friend would prefer to print out the slides. However, you decide to make sure they are organised.
Lecturers are there to help you so don’t be afraid to ask questions to help you understand or feedback on an assignment. Start assignments as soon as possible as it gives you plenty of time to research and read through your essay for spelling and grammar. This will help you gain valuable marks.
Create a study schedule. Work out your free time and block out time to work on each module. This helps you stay on top of your work more effectively. I know for the first year you usually just have to pass but still work hard and find out which way of studying works best for you. This will make second and third-year a lot easier.
Obviously, University work comes first but take, time out for yourself and for seeing friends. My best friend and I used to have Wednesday evening as our time we would either go out for coffee or watch comedy shows at home but it was lovely just to have time together. We also explored what was on offer in our local community and started going swimming on a regular basis.
Hopefully, this helps those of you who are off to University. Please do get in touch if you have any specific questions and I will be more than happy to help.