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Doesn’t it just make you feel sick when your morning greeting is the sour kick of essays, lectures and the reminder that your seminar started 12 minutes ago? Yes, it’s here, the dreadful realisation that it’s not Freshers’ week anymore and it’s never coming back. EVER. Well, until next year.
Welcome to the first week of University education, and aren’t you just dying to get stuck in? Not surprising if you aren’t, but allow me to at least settle your worries with a short list of things to consider before you go spamming Facebook statuses like ‘OMG 3012 words this essay iz gonna kill me lolz’.
Don’t be a hermit
Yes, fresher’s is over and what a crying shame that is, but the rest of the year will be bursting with just as much opportunity. Do you think that your seminar buddies haven’t been tearing it up on campus too? Don’t be timid when you introduce yourself, try finding a common ground, like how you’ve both probably passed out in the same spot at the Carleton.
Just because you have work to do does not mean you’ll become a hermit. Going out all the time doesn’t tend to happen because as it turns out, university is still about education. But under no circumstances does that mean you shouldn’t throw down your pen every so often and saturate your brain cells in Elements. We all have to, or else we’d go insane. That goes to you too pencil pushers, don’t stay in stressing about your first assignment for four days straight, go out with your friends who are probably leaving theirs until the night before. While this is unadvised, it is important to take a break, and a Monday night in Elements sounds just about right.
Don’t you lecture me!
I’m not going to lie, I miss quite a lot of my lectures. I don’t mean to, but mostly I sleep in or I download the notes later on and catch up on what I missed. That’s what it’s there for right? However, if you would like an alternative that doesn’t have you knocking on your flatmate’s door at 4am the night before the first exam because the slide you downloaded from LUVLE on Philosophy 101 read: ‘You had to be here to understand,’ then follow this advice. Lectures aren’t that bad really. It’s a big room full of people feeling exactly how you feel; ‘is my hair sticking up?’, ‘where do I sit, where do I sit, oh god where do I sit?’, and the 3rd year’s favourite game ‘spot the fit person on my row.’ Just sit next to someone you know, or go take a chance with a group you may like. The important thing is to at least try to attend and engage yourself when there- it certainly helps.
I remember my first…
I didn’t even know it was going to happen until it was right on top of me; I am of course talking about the first term essay. It’s like the first hammer stroke to drive the nail and then they go and tell you it’s over 1500 words! How will you deal with this mountainous task? Quite simply actually. Though your initial reactions may be that of hair-raising anxiety, the first essay can be a delight. If you are struggling or you don’t know where to begin, talk to your tutor. Honestly, they are here to help you through and they are just a click away. Find their campus emails or office hours and whenever you are in doubt or lost for words, they will be happy to help.
Also try to plan ahead by making a list of five things you should talk about in more detail. Leaving it to the night before isn’t advised; it’s just common sense really but it’s better to get it out of the way so you can concentrate on celebrating its glorious defeat. As said before, last minute essaying works for some but not necessarily for you, so don’t panic, but prepare.
Now just because I’ve been there, done that, and bought the tshirt (and had it written all over with permanent marker in Freshers’ week) doesn’t mean this advice is universal. University is different for everyone, so make the best of it.