It’s that point of the new academic year where you’ve been in classes for several weeks, you’ve decided whether you love or hate your flat mates, you’re done getting lost on campus and you’ve probably been to Joe’s for some curly fries. So what now? You may feel as if being at UoB is old news already and like you have been there for years. It is at this point in the year I think it would be useful to impart some must-know tips to take with you through the remainder of the year:
1. Utilise office hours
This is something I wish I had done in 1st year. Go to your lecturer’s office hours! Even if it for something that seems trivial- office hours are put in place as a mechanism to offer support and guidance to students. Go seek out some more information on essay feedback, ask for clarification on last week’s reading, propose an idea for a coming seminar!
2. Do your readings
I know this one SUCKS to read… but it is a fool proof way of making university more enjoyable and lucrative for yourself and those in your seminars and lectures. If you do the reading, you arrive at class prepared and ready to discuss. Awkwardly quiet (or even silent) seminars are the WORST. Don’t always expect seminar tutors to lead discussion and fill in awkward silences because 99% of the time they won’t. Do the reading, watch the movie, take bullet pointed notes!
3. Seek out study spaces
The new library is lovely, but be prepared for it to be super busy during exam season. My advice would be to look to the future and find a couple extra study spaces that you like on campus. A few good ones are/can be found in: The Avon Room, The Old Gym, Strathcona Building, The Guild reception area and Nuffield. Not all of these will have computers and laptops and some are quitter than others so go searching for them and test them out for yourselves!
4. Write down your deadlines
Canvas is great, but it is so useful to have all of your coming deadlines written down in one place, as oppose to dotted around on various Canvas pages. Make a timeline of sorts and stick it in your room or keep it in your diary as a reminder of when your deadlines are. This will help you to organise your time and manage writing essays, creating presentations and revising for exams around reading preparation for class and washing your socks.