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What happens when studying actually starts?

By bzgeorge 10 Sep 2019

When studying begins in your first semester, it can be a shock to the system...

After countless months of partying, travelling and getting excited for Freshers' Week, it's time to knuckle down and start studying.

Every student is different. Your contact hours, assessment style and studying schedule will differ from other courses. Try not to compare your academic life to other students. Focus on staying organised and on top of your work. It may take a while for you to get into the swing of things. Stay patient and keep going! 


Your first lecture

The first time you walk into a crowded lecture theatre can be strange. In high school, you probably spent your days in a class of twenty to thirty students. Suddenly you are in a theatre with over one hundred students and you only know a handful of them. The lecturer probably doesn't know your name and everything feels a little daunting. 

As you move through uni, lectures will begin to move more quickly. You have to motivate yourself to do the reading for lectures, in order to understand what on earth is going on. Lectures can be daunting, confusing and difficult to keep up with. It's completely normal to feel this way! You will get there. 

The first seminar/ tutorial

Seminars and tutorials are different for every course. Typically, they consist of a group of ten to twenty students and one tutor. Most of your independent work will be targeted towards these sessions. The tutor will ask a question and your group will discuss it. 

These sessions are a great way to learn more about the areas you are struggling with. Make sure to ask questions, contribute and get the most out of your contact time!

Seminars and tutorials also allow you to get to know people on your course. Make use of this time and chat to your  course mates. Remember that you can help each other to study during exam time.


Library time!

Although this depends on your contact hours, you will probably find yourself in the library from time to time. Whether you are collecting books, meeting for a group session or committing to an all-nighter - the library is a student essential. 

First year students will often try to study in their room. When you have deadlines and exams, this often isn't the most productive way to study. Check out the study spaces available on campus here. This way you can get out of your flat, socialise and get your work done!

Office hours 

Ask your tutor when they are available for a chat at the end of your seminar or tutorial, they will have specific 'office hours' to see students individually. If you are having issues with an essay or worrying about your upcoming exams, drop in to your tutor's office hours. A ten-minute chat can take away some of the stress around your academic studies. 


Essays and exams

Once lectures take off, you will CONSTANTLY hear about upcoming deadlines and exams. Write them in your calendar and make sure to always know when the next one is approaching. 

Try not to get too stressed about assessments. Focus on learning, studying and researching. This way you are expanding your knowledge, rather than cramming facts into your head. Remember to stay organised.

Work hard, party hard!

During your first year on campus, students will party throughout the semester. If you stay organised and on top of your work, you should have no problem fitting in a social life as well. Just remember that your degree must always be the priority. 

If you're stressed, check out the study support available here!

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