Preparing for University
I think it's safe to say that university life is completely different to how we expect it to be before actually starting our first year. We all go in with our own ideas and expectations, but it always turns out different, well it did for me at least. So I thought I'd write a blog to provide you with some tips and tricks when preparing for university.
- Do plenty of research- it is really important that you research the university you are applying to, that you attend an open day and read a lot about the modules on offer for your chosen subject. This helps you have an overall rounded view of where and what you'll be studying for the next 3 years. For Warwick Sociology, check out the university's website, click undergraduate and everything will be on there for you.
- Keep an open mind- I think this is one of the most important factors in your first year of university, just throw yourself into everything even if you're a bit apprehensive because I'd rather regret something I did do than something I didn't. By approaching university with a positive and open attitude, you'll definitely meet more people and settle in better.
- Don't have heightened expectations- I know it is tempting to imagine what uni life will be like and all the amazing aspects that then excite you for the future, however it is more than likely that it will be totally different. University is amazing in so many ways but it is also challenging, you are studying at a well respected university, so there are expectations to keep up with essays and work hard. I have found that going into things with a level headed attitude and not raising the bar too much, you are more likely to enjoy the experience more.
- Try and do some reading- with sociology, doing a bit of summer reading on books like Alice Goffman's 'On the Run' or reading through Alan Bryman's 'Social Research Methods', will definitely give you a good head start and a better understanding of the kind of work you'll be studying.
- Use social media- join Facebook groups like Warwick Freshers 2017-18 (don't think this page has been made yet but keep a look out) and Warwick Sociology, find out whose doing the same subject, you could even start chatting to people over summer and already make friends before you get there. Once you find out which accomodation you're in, look out for the Facebook group for example I was in Rootes Accomodation, so I joined 'Rootes Hall Society 2015-2016' and you can even get chatting to your future flatmates.
- Chat to current students- I am always available if you want to email me about anything, but also messaging people on facebook or getting in touch with family friends who have been to university, they may advise you on what their experience was like and provide you with some tips as well.
- Think about part time work- if this is something you're interested in then get looking now! For Warwick, you have Leamington and Coventry on your doorstep, most students live in Leamington so it might be a good idea to apply for a part-time job there, meaning you have a job waiting for you in 2nd year when you move to Leam! There are plenty of jobs on campus such as in Warwick Arts Centre, Xananas Restaurant, Open Day Ambassadors and the best one.....Student Blogging ;) in your first month at uni, you will be getting emails about potential vacancies but also show your face at places you think you want to work, hand in your cv because it shows more willingness.
- Save up some money for Freshers Week- in freshers week there is a lot going on, parties most nights, socials and meetings. You'll be getting to know your flatmates so you might be wanting to go out for meals, coffees and obviously nights out require money. Luckily campus events are much cheaper in terms of tickets and alcohol, but Tesco or Aldi is brilliant for getting some cheap food and drink. You might also want to buy Warwick clothing, stationary or posters, there are a few sales on during freshers week where you can get all this!
- Is there anything you need to buy beforehand- well for your room, you'll need bedding, stationary holders and you might want to invest in some decorative products to customize your room (which I definitely recommend as it will help you feel more at home). Either a good functioning laptop or a thick notepad are essential for lectures and seminars. Buying books (as mentioned above), pens, folders, etc., will help you keep yourself and your work organised.
Generally I think I've covered the basics, but don't worry because university is a life changing experience so just go in and enjoy yourself, stay positive and throw yourself in because you only get out what you put in! I hope all you upcoming students have an amazing first year at university....good luck :D xxx