Looking back on my experiences as a new student – Recent Graduate Perspective

There are lots of things I’ve discovered over the years while being a student – some good and some things I’d change. Lots of them are things I’ve discovered that made my university experience really good, and some which I wouldn’t necessarily do now if I were to go back to first year again.

3 Things I’d Recommend Doing

(1) Joining a few different societies

Being part of different societies was a huge part of my university experience and something which I’d 100% recommend to any new student. Don’t feel like you have to join lots of different ones, just being part of a few will mean you have lots of opportunities to try new things and meet lots of new people

(2) Going to the various fresher’s events organised by the uni and the SU

Remember that it isn’t only alcohol-based events that happen during fresher’s week! Don’t feel like you have to go to everything either. Make sure you go to a range of events and activities to meet lots of people and find out more about Lincoln, the university and your course!

(3) Get on top of organising your notes and academic work

It is unlikely that you will know the best way to take notes and organise course materials straight away when you start, I know I didn’t. It took me about a month to realise that the way I was taking notes really didn’t work for me, so I switched it up and felt much more organised. However, as quickly as possible, you should get everything in some sort of organised fashion and plan where you’re going to save/keep everything – if you’re doing things on a laptop, don’t forget to back everything up!

3 Things I’d Avoid if I was a New Student Again

(1) Bringing lots and lots of things to uni

I feel like this is an easy mistake, and something lots of people end up doing because it is an easy way to make uni accommodation feel like home. In reality, you can keep things pretty much to a minimum, as long as you’ve got the basics needed at the start you’ll be fine – along with a few things that remind you of home (teddies, photos, blankets etc). I took lots of extras, and most things ended up being shoved in boxes on top of my wardrobe and under my bed and being moved from accommodation into my second/third-year house and then back home covered in dust. You really don’t need excess cooking equipment and kitchen gadgets or enough plates to host a dinner party, so don’t keep packing things ‘in case’ you need them, because most likely you won’t.

(2) Leaving things until the last minute

This is something I did a lot in first year and I really wouldn’t recommend it! It’s not worth getting yourself stressed because you’ve not left yourself enough time to submit an assignment or finish some seminar prep before the session. Make yourself a weekly plan and get things done – it’ll mean you have a lot more free time afterwards too.

(3) Buying all textbooks brand new

Textbooks are super expensive. I do wish I’d borrowed more from the library and bought things on places like Facebook Marketplace secondhand. As long as you keep up with seminar and lecture notes, you will be aware of anything that may have changed in a textbook or any additions you can add yourself, so don’t panic if you can’t buy everything brand-new.

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