Getting up to pace in your first year at University

The thought of the first year at university can be daunting for some. Some also find the pace during the first few months difficult. Your previous studies should have prepared you for this experience and you will more than likely be given the opportunity to pick up the skills you need in class or during extra modules. Here’s a heads up on what you will need to either improve or get to grips with. Some core skills are so obvious that you might neglect them. It is worth looking at the following along with any preparatory reading you might have.

Effective note taking

GCSEs and A-Levels would have given you the basic note skills, however the amount and frequency of information that you will experience at university will of course increase, your note taking will also need to follow suit. Decent, organised notes are the basis of good grades. You would have developed a particular style but there is not harm in looking at different ways of doing things.

Essay writing skills

Again, you would have no doubt learned some essay writing skills prior to university but it is not only an increase in word count that will get you better marks. You’ll find a number of good books on how to structure and present your arguments. Core competencies in argumentations stretch across all academic fields.

Organising your course material

Whether you keep physical or electronic folders, you will need to organise them effectively in order to be able to access the information you need – a massive help in revision and organising your own thoughts. We can neglect the importance of keeping electronic folders organised and tidy – your PC desktop is called a desktop for a reason.

Sign up to some societies and attend summer lectures

There is an array of summer lectures that you can attend in order to give you a feeler of what you can expect. Interacting with peers is not only enjoyable but is large part of the learning experience. It would be great preparation if you took up any opportunity you possibly could to get ahead with your studies and make some new friends in the process.

Listen to some podcasts

Listening is an underrated skill. Concentrating on a full 1.5 hour lecture is a tough task – as you will find out – and this is probably the newest experience you will have as you step into higher education. Try your hand at listening to an online lecture, of which there are many, in order to get an idea of what it might be like.

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