How to make the best of your first year.

Welcome Freshers’! You’ve completed your A-Levels, survived the minefield of UCAS and Student Finance and have arrived ready to start University at RAU. We hope you have an absolutely amazing time here, and this blog is to show you how to make the most of your first year.

1.      Get out there and meet people

No doubt this will be told you many thousands of times, but do it. Go to as many different things as possible! The SU will be holding numerous events on throughout the week, and the year- so go. If you don’t seem to be getting on with your flatmates, find friends on your course, or through different societies. You don’t need to be the world’s best to join a society- you just need to give it a go. Try something new. The possibilities are endless, and you never know when what you’ve gained from the society will come in handy elsewhere.

2.      Develop a routine

This may sound a bit boring, but developing a routine can really help you stay motivated and on top of things. Of course you’re going to be going out clubbing and socialising with like-minded people, but try and develop specific times when you are going to study. If you know that Wednesday is the biggest student night of the week, don’t plan to study Thursday morning! If you work often and break up your tasks into manageable sizes, you’ll be able to stay on top of your work- rather than cramming at the last minute.

3.      Attend all lectures

Goes without saying. Attend all your lectures. All of them. No excuses. If you can’t make a lecture because you are ill, (hangovers don’t count), email the lecturer to say why you weren’t in. It’s courteous and they’ll understand. Just don’t make it a regular occurrence.

4.      Part-time jobs

Gaining a part time job whilst studying can be a win-win situation- you get ever useful money to help fund your studies/rent/nights out whilst gaining valuable employability skills. We understand that you may need to work due to rent and rising living costs. However try and limit how many hours you work each week- your job needs to fit around you and your degree, not the other way round. You don’t want to put your degree at risk because you’re missing lectures (see number 3) due to working. Come and see us for advice on gaining a part-time role whilst studying.

5.      Seek help when you need it

This can be a hard one to learn, but it will benefit you no end if it’s something you can learn to do in your first year. Don’t be afraid to stay back at the end of the class, or ask a lecturer what a term meant, or ask them to go over it again because you weren’t quite sure what they meant. As long as you were paying attention, lecturers would want you to ask for clarification rather than struggling along. Also if you’re struggling with other aspects of university life- you can contact your personal tutor, a lecturer, or the well-being team. Here at RAU it’s just like Hogwarts!