The most over-used phrase of the first year of your undergraduate degree was probably ‘it doesn’t count anyway’ followed closely by friendly non-advice that ‘all you have to do is pass.’ You’re no longer a First Year and these so-called rules don’t seem to apply anymore.
No one’s going to tell you that it doesn’t matter anymore.
Sure, your first year is not likely to be weighted as heavily as the later ones but didn’t anyone tell you that all your grades are recorded in your academic transcript? Your flatmates are wrong – every year of your degree is important but we can’t help but start to take something much more seriously when its contributing to the classification of our degree. Our advice – don’t panic!
Don’t leave coursework essays and assignments until the last minute
yes, this is easier said than done but really make the most of how far in advance essay questions are released. If you have a choice of essay titles, use this time wisely to really get to grips with which one you can answer best, rather than panic deciding on the open which appears to be the easiest.
Plan your essays and break them up into manageable sections
Aim to complete so much of each week. This is a lot less intimidating than opening up a word document with nothing but the looming deadline date and a 3,500 word count ahead of you. Not to mention it’s a great motivational tool which makes progress much easier to see.
Make the most of the resources that are available to you!
This includes using office hours, your seminar leaders put aside time each week specifically to offer one to one support and guidance. Times vary between academics so find out when these are and where they are based or drop your tutor an email if you didn’t quite grasp something in class or need help talking through course material. Your tutors are specialists in their field – a valuable discussion could offer a whole new perspective on subject matter you may not have even considered beforehand.
What about taking advantage of My Learning Essentials?
MLE is the library’s award-winning programme which is all about gaining new skills to help you through your studies as well as developing the abilities you already have! Check out the online resources which develop your expertise in areas such as referencing and how to proof read like a pro. There are also a number of skills training, interactive workshops based in the state-of-the-art Alan Gilbert Learning Commons which are all free to book on so there’s no excuse not too!