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December 13, 2011 / uniexpectations

The end of the year is here

The university teaching year is over, students have scattered to begin their long summer holidays…. it is a good time to look back over the year and reflect on how students managed their first year at uni.

We asked students –

          What was important for making your university experience successful?

                                                                                                                                                       and here is what they told us…

“Support from fellow students studying the same coursework, group tasks where contact with other students was maximised and re-assurance offered to each other. As an external student it is hard to gauge where your understanding should be and if others are just as confused/stressed/prssured as you are. Another important factor was my results, I obviously wanted to go well in order to feel it had been successful.”

“The fact that I had support from my family and friends throughout the duration of my degree and that I was able to make a close group of friends during my first year that studied the same subjects as me so we could help each other out with assigments and any difficulties we had.”

“Communication and alot of it. As a mature age student I have very much appreciated lecturers and tutors understanding the extra responsibilites and commitments that I have outside of my University life.”

“Balance of study with entertainment and social activities such, like weekly table tennis and badminton, watching movies with friends. It was important for me to have a daily plan of all my studies to prevent me from procrastinating.”

“Flexibility – combining work with full-time university, plus a family, plus volunteer work

Support – especially in the first year as everything was so new, and as a mature age student coming back to study not having been at university everything was daunting

Being able to focus – again, time is short and things need to be focussed and to the point.”

“Dedicating the necessary amount of time to my studies as I needed to ensure that I wasn’t overly worried or stressed about how I was going. Also, engaging myself in the university culture helped me to ensure that I wasn’t missing out on any of the more fun aspects of university. The first year teachers were also helpful in making me at ease with the transition from school to university.”

“Course functions such as pub crawls etc played a big role in ‘breaking the ice’ between university peers which has made my university experience much more enjoyable. Being taught correct essay writing procedures and referencing methods as part of first year tutorials has been extremely valuable to me.”

“The support given by the learning and teaching unit, and encouraging phone calls from mentors in the beginning. The encouragement given by lecturers and tutors.”

“adapting to an independant learning environment, making new friends and making the effort to meet new people, maintaining a balance between study and social activities”

“Orientation – knowing where to go and how to find your way around. Also, staff are really helpful in first year as they give you suggestions on how to best prepare and get into the routine of individual study.”

“1. Being able to do research at home through the university’s library catalogue and search engines were very helpful. 2. Access to computers at the university. 3. Access to books at the library. 4. The various “guides” available at the Uni website (i.e. writing guides, maps)”

“Keeping ahead of my studies. Not being afraid to ask my tutors questions and participating in class. The databases and journal articles online helped with my assignments and it didnt mean that I had to carry around heavy books all day just to do my assignments.”

There are so many strategies which can make your first year at uni successful, these are just a few words of wisdom from students who have been there and survived.

We hope you had a great year and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a successful New Year!!

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