University is exciting for many but for most; this is coupled with the intimidating prospect of academia and outstanding intelligence. Surrounded by great academics and professors, the fear of not being smart enough, intuitive enough or impressive enough are the thoughts which enter all undergraduates’ minds.
If you don’t, then you must already know all there is to know and your over-confidence is truly admired. However, for most undergrads that have the desire to learn and the thirst for knowledge, here are three crucial top tips for new starters at university.
Capitalise on the expertise of your tutors but know that independent study is critical
Make use of your personal tutors and subject tutors. They are the professionals, the experts in the areas that interest you. However, do not expect to be spoon-fed information. University promotes a system of independent learning. If you are in need of support, it is your responsibility to contact the necessary person to assist you. Many students seek to be overindulged in the knowledge they require but you will soon discover that the tutors and professors guide and facilitate, they do not spoon-feed. If you’re looking for the easy route of someone telling you the correct answer or professionalised argument, then university is not the place for you.
Read, read and read….
Read in and around your subject and each of your modules. If you are studying early modern history, then have a research the Renaissance and the Tudor Monarchy. If you are studying Quantum Physics, then look into the debates of quantum versus classical physics. For every module, the more you read, the more you can apply to your coursework and exam. The much loved GCSE and A-Level text books, which students become so helplessly attached to, do not suffice at university level. The second home of a university student is without a doubt the library; it is the perfected writing of scholars and professors, in which you must immerse yourself, well that is if you yearn for that 1st or 2:1 and the guarantee of becoming a well-rounded and well-informed entrepreneur.
Go with an open mind
Begin university with no rigid point of view. Listen and engage in the various discussions and debates around you. Whether it’s a controversial idea posed in your Shakespearian literature tutorial, or at debating society regarding the pros and cons of free health or even a discussion amongst your friends about the effectiveness of Obama’s decisions in Iraq. The more involved you are, the more you are exposed to various opinions, giving you the ability to strategically formulate your own personalised views and defend them when opposition arises.
Starting university may seem daunting, but you are certainly not alone in feeling this way. To some, these top tips may seem like a massive effort; to others, an obvious task. However, trust the veteran university students when we tell you, the vibrant social life can totally consume your every thought, action and day-to-day activity, especially for those first years who have just escaped the stranglehold of parental control. Whether you are hung-over or thinking of an outfit for your next night out, keep these top tips in mind…well, if you would like to graduate higher than your peers.