So, you are coming if not already, to the end of your first academic year at the University of Derby and how fast has that come!
It has not been an easy year for most, but for others it has allowed us to spend more time with family in the home or to reflect on life before the pandemic, as well as learn a whole new variety of skills whilst being online and stuck at home.
Now things are beginning to open up again and get back to some form of normality, hopefully by September all clubs, societies and events will be back and you will be able to get to know more new people.
Moving up to Year 1 from Foundation Year
- Get involved in different clubs, societies, and student led services, this will enable you to get to know more students across the university as well as sharing common interests with clubs and societies - All of these can be found on the union website here.
- Reflect on your first year at University, your work, grades, feedback comments and your personal and academic growth within the past year
- Organise all of your work for easy access as you could well need this in your future years, I know I use my old work in new assignments that I have, even from year one to three
- Have a good sort out of folders, paper, files, study space etc ready for a new fresh start in the new academic year
- Attend your induction week, alot of information and expectations for the year are given in this week, this can be VERY useful
- If you have contact with them, have a chat with students in the year above you about books they have found useful etc which you can use your Blackwells book voucher both online and on campus at Kedleston Road campus
- Look through your reading lists in preperation for the upcoming modules - again using blackwells voucher and books from the library
- Set a timetable for your uni days, work days and days off etc - Do what works best for you, not what everyone else is doing
- Ask anything if you are unsure, there is no such thing as a silly question at university - If you don't ask, you won't know and if someone doesn't know they will signpost you in the right directipn or find out for you
- Make time for seeing your friends and family, social time is key to development and mental health
- Download, print and read module handbooks as soon as you can (Reading lists are also often with these) to give you the best start to the module and what you are looking for with assignments and exams etc
Moving up to Year 2 from Year 1
- Talk and ask questions if you are struggling with any aspect of University, someone will be able to help or give you advice
- Make use of your PAT (Personal Academic Tutors) having regular meetings, tutorial times and talks though assignments, again if you are unsure to have a soudning board (I know I do this very often)
- Set aside down time, year 2 is a bigger jump than people think, so make time for you and to have some down time
- Attend ALL lectures, this year counts towards your degree, last year was a practice!!!
- Read through and understand the rubric that academics use to mark your assignments, if you are not sure how they work this is something you can discuss with your PAT
- Take in the feedback you have been given, take notes on your strengths and weaknesses for future assignments
- Don't be afraid to challenge academics with assignment grades or feedback, this is a professional conversation with your module leader about your work and how you could improve on what you have produced
The key message for ALL University students is to HAVE FUN, DO YOUR BEST and MAKE FRIENDS FOR LIFE
And go and smash your university life!!!!
Good luck with all of your studies and your future career as well as all of the fun you are going to have at University the next academic year! You have survived the past year so you can survive anything now!
If you have any genuine questions especially about moving up to year 2 feel free to drop a comment on this article and I will get back to you within a few days, the union is also a great place to go for advice and support.
Kind regards to you all,
Second year (2020/21) Child, Family, Health and Wellbeing (Course Rep and Mentor)
PAL for Social and Community Studies