Happy September guys! It's been like a month since I was here and I am sorry! I'm going to post again tonight so I'll probably explain better here! But as it's back to Hogwarts day, and the start of the month in which I return to university, I thought it'd be fun to do a Harry Potter themed post! I cannot believe how fast this summer has gone. I haven't had many days off from work so summer has passed me by quite quickly. But I go back to university in 27 days and I am very happy (and anxious!).
So I decided I'd write some university tips (and nobody will probably read them but hey, I tried!) I remember how scary my first year was. I don't think it'll ever be easy to start university but it's beyond worth it.
Here goes nothing:
1. Always attend class: I miss class a couple every year due to working. There are always going to be valid excuses for missing the odd class. And yes, anxiety is a valid excuse. But if you can, try to go to as many classes as you can. It helps. I know you can find the notes online but nothing beats the extra information that your lecturers can provide.
2. Always be up to date with your reading (as best you can anyway!): I work full time alongside my degree. So I find it hard, despite my best efforts to complete all of the reading on time. But I do 90% of it. Nobody is ever going to recommend a text to you that you don't need. Everything that is suggested is there to help.
3. Make use of the university resources: Sometimes you will have to buy books because your university might not have them. But sometimes, the library can be damn helpful and it saves you some money.
4. Accept the inevitable fate that you will cry. And you will panic; probably. I mean I imagine some people get through uni stress free. But I find it hard. I panic a lot, and I fear failure. And I know plenty of other people that are prone to such things. It's really important to reach out and ask for help. From friends, family, university counselling system, and even your lecturers sometimes. Everyone will want to help in some way. But please, don't put yourself down for panicking. It's normal and its fine. You can do it. It just means that you care- which is a good thing!
5. Use your lecturers. If you need help, ask. I didn't go to my lecturers for anything in my first year. By the time second year rolled around, I practically lived in the office. One of my lecturers started referring to me as 'Jane Austen', because I was in there so much and had a huge love for Austen. Other times he'd simply greet me with 'oh, not you again'. But I wasn't afraid to ask for help anymore. The English Department at my university is probably the most supportive and helpful departments I could have had behind me. I am very lucky to have them to work with. However, I know that visiting your lecturers are scary. But even the scariest of lecturers aren't that bad. Once, my lecturer wrote that she had 'expected better' from me, on the bottom of my assignment. I was terrified. But I went to see her, and she put my mind at rest. They are there to help, and it's very unlikely they will ever send you away.
5. The people that tell you uni is easy? they're liars. But I am a firm believer that anything that is worth having, will never come easily. It is well worth the work. Nothing is more satisfying to me than seeing the sleepless nights, and the temper tantrums I throw, pay off in the form of a half decent grade.
6. Take one essay at a time. It is so easy to get swept up in everything that goes on at university all at once. Sometimes it helps to take one step at a time, and try to keep a clear head.
7. Work. I don't know what to suggest with this point. I recommend part time work, I think. If you absolutely have to. But I worked full time throughout my second year and it is hard. Unless you absolutely have to. I'm going to start my first few weeks of my final year on six shifts a week, and as much as I like a challenge I also appreciate sleep. Your physical and mental health must come first. Otherwise everything becomes ten times harder. You are so much more important than working yourself silly in whatever capacity this may be.
8. Try your best. This is all anybody can ever ask of you. You simply cannot do anymore and it will always be good enough. Don't ever let anyone tell you any different. Be proud of yourself, as long as you worked hard.
9. And finally, try and enjoy yourself. It's meant a be good few years and a chance for you to make some good friends. I can honestly say I have enjoyed my first two years, and I have high hopes for the final one.
Right, I'll return with another post either tonight or tomorrow morning! I hope you're all well!