5ive tips: Advice for University

5

So, im coming to the end of my first year…well first 8 months, of the University life. And boy was it fun?  For the first time, I have moved out of my home town into my Mum’s old home town in a move that puts everyone strangely full circle.

I may not have gotten into The University of Liverpool, but I did get into my second choice, which was Edge Hill University in Ormskirk. I certainly achieved a lot in my relatively short time being here. I started Edge Hill’s Politics Society, and we had our first meeting. I ran for the role of Disabled Student’s Officer, and I did it twice. I may not have won, but on both votes, I came a strong second, which for a newcomer is quite the achievement. I also got to meet MPs like John Pugh and Stephen Twigg, and while I still don’t have my radio show, I will certainly work to get one next year.  Being here presented me with a few personal and professional challenges, including dealing with myself and my quirks on my own for essentially the first time. The challenge of being in a new environment with new people I had NEVER met before was hard at first too, but I eventually got through it. So for today’s blog post, I will give you some of the tips and tricks I would recommend to those who are looking to go to University…

Uni Life:

The best thing to do if you have been accepted into a University is to prepare for your new living and travelling arrangements. You get your A Level results in August, so you have a whole month to get ready. What I recommend is to get your NUS Card and your railpass/travelpass sorted. It is going to be vital when managing budgets. Then there is transport or housing. If you’re gonna live in campus, then you should already have applied, if not, do it. If you’re going to live off campus, be careful as there will be at least one dodgy landlord (I assure you, they’re not just in Ormskirk). I was quite lucky with my accomodation, as I have my Grandad with me.

Equipment:

A Laptop or a Tablet is a lifesaver. As I got equipment from ATOS (Cos Im disabled) I will use what I got as a recommendation. A laptop is necessary, or at the least a tablet with a keyboard. Some Universities give you free copies of Windows Office, as my University does, and also get some cloud storage. Google Drive and Onedrive are the best for this, and so is Dropbox which is compatible with Turnitin (WHICH YOU WILL LEARN TO USE EVENTUALLY). And if you can, get a recording device to record lectures, as that will be great for revision and further note taking down the line. And get some recommended text books too. You have like a month to prepare.

Networking:

When I had my intentions of going into Liverpool, I networked with people, and even met them a few times. In retrospect, I’d be cautious if you haven’t got an unconditional offer, though if you do have one, you have the chance to make some very good friends. Often, groups like ‘Edge Hill Freshers 2016/17’ will be formed, and they may have other students, current students, and calenders for events in clubs and the likes. I would recommend joining them if you get into a place, because you can meet some good people. I met a few people through there, and I would recommend it, if you know where you are going.

Timetable:

So here you are, Fresher’s week. You have met your friends, you have your equipment, and you have introductory Lectures. ATTEND THEM. This really is a piece of non advice, but I will stress that you attend those introductory lectures. It not only gives you an idea on what you’re studying (assuming you didn’t do some recommended reading) but also the teaching style of your lecturers. As well as this, it will also give you your handbooks, which you will use to make a timetable. Make a timetable, with dates for exams and assignments. It really is key. Compared to school, where the lecturing and seminar aspects are one, it is separated. The lecture is the bit where you  learn stuff, and the seminar is where you consolidate it. The introductory lectures will inform you of how things will work, so GO.

Societies:

Finally, Societies. My University had a fresher’s fair, and I imagine yours will too. All your societies will be there, and local businesses with freebies and opportunities to register and join parties or to vote in local elections. Societies are great places to make friends. I met a bunch of people in the societies I went to, suck as Rock Society, Labour Society, Feminist, and Politic Societies. Its a great and easy way to get out of your topic bubble and expand your friendship cliques.

So there’s 5ive tips to get you sorted for University. I hope you get something out of them. I will link you to another post by my University blog, who rejected me. Arseholes.

Things I wish I knew before University

About the author

Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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