Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Student Sundays - Preparing for your course

Hannah Lane Student Blog
Hey everyone! Hope you've all had a lovely weekend. Firstly, I just want to say well done everyone who got their results and got into university this week! This is the second post in my 'Student Sundays' series, last week's post was about packing and what to take to uni (click hereee) and this week's post is about how to prepare for your course

Check out modules (particularly elective ones)

Now you know what university you're going to and what course you'll be studying, you should be starting to think about what your course entails. It may be a good idea to read module syllabuses, especially if for your course you need to pick modules. For mine, my German modules were compulsory whereas for Business I could chose which modules I wanted to do. You may have taster lectures for these modules so you may find it useful to know what to expect before you have to decide. 

Find out if there's a reading list

You may have been emailed a list of preliminary reading you should do before the start of your course, or there may be one on the course's website. If not, I would send an email and check if your course has one, just to be sure! I was emailed a preliminary reading list before the start of my course last year, the reading wasn't compulsory (you'll soon find that there isn't a lot that's compulsory at uni!) but it was still important. I didn't attempt much on the list but regretted it once I got to uni. Our freshers fortnight runs simultaneously to our courses so you don't want to be spending time reading the stuff you could have done before freshers as you could end up missing out! 

Buying books

Following on from reading lists, another tip would be don't buy every book you will study. You won't need them. For German, we study a book every week and if you bought every one of those books you would need another loan. Use the library, and if you need books (some textbooks are compulsory and you will need them for seminar prep most weeks) then buy them secondhand! Some of the books I needed were £50+ new, whereas second year students sold them for around £20, depending on condition, and I plan to resell the ones I bought this year. 

Get yourself a planner

And use it. This will help you be approximately 234x more organised. Seriously. Write down important dates such as essay deadlines, when your rent/bills are due and club/society events. Write as much down as you can and use your planner every week. Write down what work you've been set and when it's due in, put your timetable in it so you don't miss any classes and keep a note of anything you don't want to forget!

Brush up on your subject. 

Unless you're studying something new. But even then some background knowledge won't do any harm! If you're studying a language, get used to hearing it again by watching a film in that language or the radio, read some articles, whatever. Trust me you don't want to go into your first class and have it taught in that language having not heard it for months! If you're studying Maths or Engineering, do some sums to get your brain back in that mode. You don't have to do loads, just enough to get you back into the academic/studying mindset after weeks of probably not doing much! 


This is quite important or you won't actually be doing your course. You will be given information on how and when you need to do this, just don't forget!! 

I hope these tips are even a little bit useful. If there's anything or any topic you particularly want to see in these posts let me know in the comments or tweet me or send me an email and I'll do my best! 

Hannah Lane

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