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So as my first year of university comes to a close my first thought is – how did it go so quickly? There is no understatement of the fact that time flies when you’re having fun (with a pinch of studying at the side). Here are a few ideas about how to make sure you squeeze every ounce of pleasure out of next year, after all, your only an undergraduate one.
Don’t skip class
For me, I’ve come to realise that actually going to your lectures helps enormously when having to revise for tests and exams. It saves having to learn weeks of material in a couple of days. This is one thing I’ll be telling any fresher next year, as well as having perfect attendance myself in second year.
Use your holidays well
If you want to be able to do more of the things you want during in term time, then use your holidays to do work. The thing I’ll do differently next year is using the Easter holidays to revise, rather than just stay in bed. This is especially important for second year since my exams are the first few weeks of the summer term. I can’t do what I did this year and just revise for them a couple of weeks before. In defence of this lack of revision I just keep reminding myself that I only need to get 40%.
Use the disability and mental health services
The university have been really supportive during my first few terms when I struggled with my mental health. I was surprised at the amount of support I was offered, having come to university with the assumption that I had to fend for myself as I was an adult. It seems to me as if they actually want you to do the best you can do so will do everything in their power to help you. The Disability Service in particular is extremely supportive and I urge anyone who is deliberating whether to ask for their advice on a particular issue you are dealing with to go and speak to them. They are extremely helpful and really easy to talk to, something I thought I might have had an issue with.
Join a sports team or society
Joining my college netball team was one of the best decisions I made this year. Not just that it made me exercise but that it helped me make friends in my college who were not just freshers like myself, but who were second and third years. Being part of the team helped me make a lot of friends from a lot of different courses and year groups really quickly, especially with the socials the team captains organised. I would highly recommend getting involved in a sports team of some kind, or any society at all! I know a lot of people didn’t join our college team because they thought you had to be almost an ex-England player or something but this isn’t the case at all. It’s a chance for you to get involved in something competitive and let your hair down as well as making new friends and having a laugh.
Use the careers service
Next year I will have to start thinking about career plans and scary things like that. I’ve made a mini-plan, lined up some ideas for work experience and I am just planning on carrying on as I am, working as hard as possible and trying to keep an eye out for any opportunities that come my way. The careers hub will be my go-to for assistance. From helping you update your CV to doing a mock interview, the team are always there to help you land the job you’ve always dreamed of.
Maintain a positive attitude
I am looking forward to second year. Not so much the increased work load and added stress of ‘this year counts’ but the fact that I have a lot that is going to happen, in the societies I’m a part of, and in the friendship groups I have made. Things can only get better.