Making the transition to university

by Hannah (Student Blogger: BSc Biological Sciences)

When you first arrive at University you’ll probably be bombarded by statements from older students like, “oh I wish I was still in first year” and “ah first year’s the best year at uni”, and it is, in so many ways. That doesn’t mean that second and third, or even fourth, if you’re staying longer, aren’t great. Going into my third year now feels both incredibly daunting as well as comforting and somewhat exciting. Although first year is the best year socially and in terms of your new surroundings, it can also be notoriously difficult if you have feelings of anxiety.

It’s completely natural to feel anxious about starting university and even to feel anxious whilst you’re here. There’s a variety of changes to go through and a lot of pressures you may never even have dealt with before. Finding the perfect balance when you’re thrust into this adult world whilst still feeling like a teenager can be very difficult. Only now going into my final year do I personally feel like I’ve settled into Lancaster and know how to tackle the challenges of the coming year. Truthfully, everyone is different – you may seamlessly transition into life here, or you may find it difficult to adjust to your new-found surroundings.

There’s one thing for certain though, there’s always help available. Looking back, I wish that someone had convinced me to get help sooner rather than later. Whether it’s confidentially talking to a freshers rep, your academic advisor or a counsellor at the Base, talking to someone can always brighten things up. It’s a challenge opening up about certain things, I know, but thankfully you’ll realise that you won’t be going through this alone. Part of the journey of going to university is discovering how you work and what’s best for you. It’s been a hard two years, but I can firmly say that I’ve finally cracked it, academically and socially. Sometimes it really does feel like a rollercoaster of emotions, but the satisfaction of pulling through the other end is great.

From finding ‘friends for life’ to getting that top degree, or even just managing to do your laundry and cook for yourself, there can be a lot of high expectations built on coming to university. My best advice to you would be to not have any when you first come here. Lancaster is a truly fantastic place, but with any university experience, it’s easy to feel the pressure. Take each day as it comes, and don’t get hung up on finding any of the things you thought you would. Lancaster is built on a fantastically eclectic group of people, from a variety of different backgrounds, interested in a multitude of activities. As cliché as it sounds, being yourself really is the best way to be. You’ll find a group of people just like you, who make you happy and have the same interests, helping to make your transition here as smooth as possible.

As soon as you can, head down to the freshers fair and sign up to as many things as possible. Even if you don’t join them officially, attend the taster sessions and meet new people. Get out there as much as you can. Remember to take some time for yourself and to not let everything pile up on top of you at once – you don’t want to feel like you’re drowning. Your Lancaster experience will be what you make it; don’t waste it.

 

Shopping for academic success

by Melissa (Student Blogger: MA English Literature)

Whether you are just starting, or a confident student approaching your next year of study, purchasing academic materials can often feel like a chore.Nonetheless, it’s a necessary part of most subjects.

What is a reading list?

A reading list is a list of all the books that you might need during your course. You don’t necessarily need to buy all of them, and you might not even need to read all of them! If you are experiencing any confusion over which books you are expected to buy, and those which you can avoid emptying your wallet over, please check out this article on CORE, PRIMARY, and SECONDARY texts – Getting to grips with reading lists

Why is it important to purchase texts over Summer?

Purchasing early in Summer will give you plenty of time to read ahead of your course, thus giving you more time to study at a relaxed pace later, or a few extra nights on the town during term. Early reading also means that you have more time to thoughtfully consider the texts which you will later be expected to argue, explain, and reference. It can be useful to leave reminders in the margins when reading ahead of your course, this way, you won’t forget any essay ideas or questions you have for your seminars.

The First Step to preparing for the next academic year is to find out what texts you will need. The method for achieving this differs between tutors and courses, as some modules do not finalise their chosen texts until the start of the year. If this your case, I advise sending an email inquiring your tutor(s) about which texts you will be safe to buy without worry of them being swapped out by October. Asking about texts shows enthusiasm in your studies, which is sure to please your tutors as well as benefit you.

If you are lucky enough to be in a course which details its reading list in the course description (such as most Literature modules), then congratulations; you have already completed step one!

The Second Step, once you have acquired your list of materials, is time to purchase your texts. Academic books can be expensive and sometimes tutors will ask for specific editions of certain texts, so it is important to spend some time researching your texts.

It is important to note the wealth of free resources available to you as a Lancaster University student before you start buying books. You can login to the student portal to access OneSearch (at the top right of the Moodle home page) which allows you to search for texts you can read for free online through the library, or it will direct you to services such as JSTOR and EBSCO which contain various academic journals for you to peruse. Be wary that you may not need to buy all of your books, and that some older texts may even be available as royalty free pdfs accessible via popular search engines.

High street book shops can be expensive, but useful in a hurry. Our campus bookshop stocks a range of books specifically requested by tutors from the university, so if you find yourself in a tizzy because you left your primary texts by the beach, it might be worth stopping by.

Online stores are good alternatives, especially when buying second hand. Books described as containing notes often function as an echo of seminars gone by, and help me to consider particular passages from new angles outside of university seminars.

Student managed Facebook groups may also be worth searching for, as older students wanting to offload last year’s books may have materials that you can haggle for cheaper prices.

The Final Step is to start reading! Don’t push yourself too hard as it is your summer break. You might choose to leave the heavier texts for later, but any reading is a success and a chance to get ahead of your peers. I advise a cup of tea and a cookie with every chapter!

Getting to grips with reading lists

by Melissa (Student Blogger: MA English Literature)

When approaching your reading list at the beginning of the academic year, you might find yourself in some difficulty comprehending which texts you will be expected to have read completely, and those which only require you to glance over a chapter or two. Of course, all academic reading is good for broadening your mind, but prioritising your reading will help you to manage your time effectively.

To begin with, you need to differentiate which texts are CORE, PRIMARY, and SECONDARY. This is an essential task to complete before buying any of your texts, as these boundaries will determine whether a book is necessary for you to own, or whether you can get by on extracts provided by your tutors.

A CORE TEXT is a text that is deemed essential to your learning. You will probably be expected to write essays on it and will need to read it thoroughly. You should own a copy of any core texts that you will need so that you can make efficient notes on them, and have them ready to reference in seminars. ‘Owning’ a copy of a text counts as either a physical or a virtual copy. You can identify a ‘core text’ as a text which will be used in multiple weeks throughout your course.

A PRIMARY TEXT is similar to a core text, but slightly less important. Where you will almost definitely be expected to write about a core text, you have the option to choose which of your primary texts you will discuss in detail. Your primary texts can be identified as texts that you will likely spend one week on during your course. You are expected to own all primary texts, but you won’t be writing essays on every suggested book, so it’s okay to forego the odd book if you are struggling scheduling your reading time.

A SECONDARY TEXT is rarely necessary to own, and is often as little as a chapter or journal article. Secondary texts can be identified as academic critiques which you will reference in essays to explain, reinforce, or add flavour to your own ideas. They will rarely be the main focus of any week in a course, but often appear at the end of reading lists as suggestions to compliment your primary and core texts. Secondary texts tend to be on the more expensive side of university reading lists, so in most cases, it is best to wait to see if your tutor will provide you with the necessary extracts, or whether the library has any spare copies. Secondary texts are suggestions, and while you will need them, you have more freedom over which ones you decide use in your essays.

DON’T WORRY! Not all courses (Maths) have lengthy reading lists. Some courses, like Philosophy, focus on academic journals and articles rather than reading entire books cover-to-cover. If you do have a long reading list, however, it can be useful to apply these terms to your buying and reading habits. Good luck!

 

 

Dear new student…

by Nevena (Student Blogger: BSc Hons Business Studies (Industry))

Welcome on Board! I presume everyone around you is excited about your new journey and asks questions about your feelings on the issue. Yes, it is a change, indeed. But don’t worry if you can’t find the right words to describe how you are feeling. Immerse yourself in the summer and the freedom you have now in order to give yourself the opportunity to gain strength for the colder weather that awaits you in Lancaster. Here are a few things to help you prepare:

Lesson #1

The weather is not as bad as you might think. There may be more rain than you have been used to, especially if you are coming from a sunny country like Spain or Italy. Don’t let the fog and wind discourage you and steal away from your enthusiasm. After all, the weather is only a small detail from the larger picture and October will be pretty sunny, I’ve checked the forecast for you J

Lesson #2

Prepare to be organised. Once you come to university, you will feel the weight of so many more responsibilities, having to live on your own and cope with your studies. It won’t be easy, but it’s something everyone has the ability to master. Once you arrive in England if you are coming from a different country, or once your parents drive you to the campus of the university in early October with a car full of belongings, you will be given the keys to a room that is supposed to become your new home. You will open the door at some of the floors of the university accommodation and you will see this small space that will look pretty plain. However, you have the power to transform it! Empty your suitcase and decide what other objects will make this space feel more comfy (*pillows, rugs, photos, lights, posters are just the first ideas that come to my mind). Any place can feel like home so just use your creativity!

Lesson #3

After you arrive, you will have one week to get yourself introduced to the new place and many of the new people. Or in other words, during Fresher’s week, you’ll be occupied with activities all the time and you won’t be able to remember half of the names of new people you meet. But what’s important is that you will have time to settle down.

Lesson #4

The real dilemma most students go through in their first week is what societies and activities to join. There is an event at the end of Fresher’s week, called Fresher’s Fair where all the societies try to gain new members. If you are a very proactive person or if you have a lot of enthusiasm to try something new, there are high chances you end up signing up for 6,7 or even 10 different societies. The truth is, you won’t have time for all of them. Societies are a way to meet like-minded people with identical interests as you, but you need to sit down and prioritize what really brings you joy. It is unrealistic to think that you are Superman or Superwoman and can manage doing everything, so choose 2 or 3 that really stand out to you.

(*you can get a glimpse on all the societies here https://lusu.co.uk/societies  where all of them have a brief description; however, wait until the fair until you make a decision)

Lesson #5

ASK. ASK. ASK! Asking questions can be scary to some people, but it can be the shortest way to making a decision in many cases, especially in the beginning when everything will be new to you. Ask older students, ask fresher reps, ask university staff: everyone is there to help you. Forget any fears you may have and step out of your comfort zone to get someone else’s impression who has already been through that.

 

It’s still summer, but university time is slowly approaching. Until then, enjoy yourself, your family and friends, and come fresh, energetic, and open for the new experiences to come in October. And don’t forget about the #lessons as they might save you some nerve breakages in the beginning of your school year.

Essential study tools

by Ruth (Student Blogger: BA Hons History)

‘Essentials’- it’s a tricky place to start, as everyone has different tools, tricks and tips that they use for studying. But if you’re reading this hopelessly, scrambling for some sort of list to follow, in order to know at least a little of what to get, I hope this helps.

Paper and Notebooks (specifically A4 spiral bound ones)

Now, this may seem obvious but bring paper to uni. Many students underestimate the amount of notes you will make at university. While, you may be dead set on making your notes solidly only using your laptop, don’t underestimate the power of the pen and paper. I find it easier to make notes and follow lectures by physically writing it down. The words flow better and it is quicker to correct. This is why, the first essential has to be a serious amount of paper. Either in notebooks or folders, whatever you prefer. And of course, a bucket of pens to go alongside.

Coloured paper/pens/whiteboards

These are a lifesaver. Having something colourful to write on or write with is so helpful and brightens up revision and lecture notes. I personally suffer from dyslexia and this can result in a degree of sensitivity to a black and white page. Hence coloured paper, especially muted colours such as pastel blue, green or purple are a brilliant backdrop for planning essays, mind maps and writing key notes. Coloured paper is so helpful that, during revision last year, I bought coloured whiteboards. These muted coloured boards were so useful to study off as they not only lessen the glare that white paper and boards often have, but small whiteboards are endlessly helpful for revision. They are now something that I, and now after using mine, my friends, recommend massively. Although at the start of the year revision might not be something to focus on particularly, it is still important to have it at the back of your mind. Especially as some courses do regular tests, which can be intimidating without the right tools. Having a whiteboard enables you to go over key pieces of information again and again in different ways. And it also helps limit the destruction of the rainforest by not using endless amounts of paper.

Laptop- with all the software

Use this blogpost as your reminder. Take advantage of all the software you are offered by the University. One of the main software options they offer is global autocorrect, which spell checks any word you type on any application used on your laptop. This is so useful for emails and anything typed on the internet. There is also Read & Write Gold, which reads word documents and chunks of text out loud to you. I like to use this specifically for essays as getting the programme to read it out load is a way of checking sentence length, punctuation and grammar. There are so many different types of software that are on offer. Check what is out there and what caters to your particular needs.

These are the things, I only managed to get together a few months after university had started, that I wished I’d got organised before. As a result, I hope this list helps you be more organised, ready for the start of university….

Making the most of university resources

 

 

 

 

by Sara (Student Blogger: BA Hons Linguistics)

Universities operate differently to schools and colleges – no uniform is just the start of it. Take a look at the following tips to empower yourself with a few key facts before you jump in. Some key bits of know-how will free you up to worry about the really important stuff like what to wear to Sugar!

Moodle

All of the resources for your degree will be available online through Moodle, AKA the Student Portal. Under ‘Modules’ you will find your courses and everything your lecturers and co-coordinators have chosen to share with you such as reading lists and documents to help with things like referencing in essays (citations will be your bestie). A scroll through Moodle might be all you need to clarify important dates or tasks. Notifications will keep you up-to-date so you don’t forget about deadlines.

The Library

The sparkly new library at Lancaster is an amazing tool if you know how to use it. Online, you can use the search tool to find out which books are available in the library as hard copies and often you can also access entire books online and download or print some chapters. To check out a book, use the search tool to find the book and which floor it is on and under which letter (the letters correspond to subjects). Take the book to a scanning station where screens sit above various trays. You will need to scan your library/ID card and then scan the barcode on the inside cover of your book, following the on-screen instructions. To return a book, simply scan the barcode again after selecting the ‘Return’ option and place it in the appropriate tray. If you feel unsure, go with some friends who have done it before or ask the staff there and soon you’ll be a pro.

Printing

You can use your library/ID card to print from any printer at the university. You can send documents from university computers directly to your printing account. The document is then stored there until you approach a printer, scan your ID card and select the document to print (although it will time out in one hour). Credit can be added to your account online by finding ‘Printing’ on Moodle under ‘Other Services’. You can also see how much your printing will cost and just how many trees you have killed which always brightens my day if I haven’t killed that many. Alternatively, there are a few machines for turning cash into printing credit around the library. You can also print from your personal computer by adding documents to the WebPrint feature online.

The App

The iLancaster app is an incredibly valuable shortcut to a bunch of places and it is constantly being updated and improved. You can use it to view detailed course and exam timetables, locate buildings around campus on a map, access your interactive transcript, the library and your printing account and see PC availability (to save you braving the walk from your flat purely on faith) amongst other features. The app will also send you announcements, like Moodle, so you are informed when new marks have been published on your transcript following assessments, for example.

In summary…

All these resources make studying at Lancaster super manageable. They might seem very foreign at first, but only at first, and you’ll become totally comfortable really quickly. If you don’t know, just ask! There are tutorials and introductions during Welcome Week as well. First year as a whole is about getting used to the cogs in the university machine and based on my experience, everyone will be happy to help you out. Good luck!

Adjusting to university life

by Catherine (Student Blogger: BSc Computer Science)

The adjustment to university life can be testing. You may think you get enough lectures at home, but at university you will have several lectures a week. It is important to aim for full attendance. That being said, if you miss the odd one, whether you’re ill or don’t remember any of last night after receiving an iconic Sugarhouse stamp, you won’t spontaneously combust. Just don’t let it become a regular occurrence. You will want to be able to enjoy your free time rather than spending it catching up and struggling to resurface from a sea of lecture notes.

Sometimes lectures can feel fast-paced and you’ll want to rush to write everything down. Don’t. Your hand won’t thank you for it and when it comes to revision for exams most people can’t revise from hundreds of pages of scrawled notes. It may take some practice, but try to note down any key points or formulas as well as anything you find interesting and would like to study further outside of the lecture.

Make a study schedule and stick to it. This may not sound very appealing as you’d much rather spend your free time on your hobbies or hanging out with friends. The extra time spent going over work will make you understand lecture content more clearly and make your future work easier, thus you will find your course material more enjoyable. You will also feel more confident in your abilities and will be saved from cramming in too much work in the weeks leading to exams.

If your course has some coursework elements, work these into your study schedule and try to start as soon as the task is set. Before you begin you can’t be sure of what issues you may encounter or if something in your personal life might set you back a day or two. Starting work the night before its due leaves you with a very short timescale to correct any errors, meaning your grades won’t be as high as they could have been had you started earlier.

You may feel well-prepared for the term with your colour-coordinated folders and more pens than students in the Gregg’s queue at lunch time, but don’t forget to consider your mental preparation. You will be more engaged in your lectures if you had a refreshing night’s sleep and feel confident for the day ahead; if you have any issues with your mental well-being contact your college’s welfare team.

At the beginning of your first year you will be appointed an academic advisor, who you should meet regularly to discuss your academic progress and any issues you are facing. Get to know your lecturers also. While it is difficult for them to remember everyone by name, if you make an impression they will know who you are. Engage in their lectures by answering questions and if you’re struggling, ask some of your own; feel confident in yourself to do so. If you get an answer wrong you may feel embarrassed, but you have no reason to be; chances are some of your fellow students would have answered the same, and so long as you didn’t accidentally call your lecturer ‘mum’ no-one will take much notice.

University is more mature and fast-paced than previous education; finding a good balance between study and leisure and having confidence in yourself are the keys to success.

 

Overcoming challenge

by Shentao (Student Blogger: BA English Language and Linguistics)

Last term I was nearly overwhelmed by my ‘mountainous’ academic workload. Anxiety was haunting me so much that I finally turned to our university’s mental health service and NHS health centre both at campus and in town. I also talked to teaching staff in my department. Thanks to the consultation and teaching staff’s efforts to comfort me, I started to calm down. I redesigned my learning strategies, went to the gym more frequently than before to release academic stress by building my body and I also joined a mock business negotiation society to make friends with my peers.

Redesigning learning strategies

I believe for most international students in the UK, the priority is that they have to adjust themselves to the English speaking environment with which they might possibly lack familiarity. Particularly, as a student in the Department of English Language and Linguistics, it is a necessity for me to master the language skills in academic communication (e.g. consultation with the teaching staff) and production (e.g. essay writing) given that I have to use a second language to carry out these tasks whose requirements on language skills are significantly higher than those of daily lives.

The onset of my learning experiences here has witnessed multiple problems related to the English language skills. For example, there are some sentences in my essay that do not look very ‘natural’ from the perspective of a native speaker of English, which was pointed out by one of my tutors in Year One. My old habit of referring to English dictionaries when I compose English articles has been meaningful in many occasions but it is not the ultimate solution because English (even academic English) is a ‘live’ language that has always been undergoing changes. It is not a bunch of words hidden in those huge heavy volumes. That is, the English language is always ahead of the dictionaries. Therefore, in order to master the most practical language that is employed in academics by native speakers of English, I contacted the native speakers of English around me and asked them for help when proof reading. They pointed out some sentences and/or phrases whose wording looked ‘unnatural’ or even ungrammatical to them and gave suggestions on how to improve or correct them. Modification would be added by me if, after consulting more professional people such as the teaching staff, I was confirmed that mistakes arose in those parts.

Doing more exercise

The benefits of doing physical exercises go beyond keeping myself physically healthy. It is also a great way to release one from academic pressure. As a member of the university sports centre I go to the gym as a matter of routine. I received professional training of badminton and used to play for the school badminton team when I was in China. Here in Lancaster University I prefer to run on the treadmill because I can start it anytime I want without inviting a partner. If my memory serves me correctly, I have run over a hundred kilometres on the treadmill since I gained the membership of the sports centre here. From my sporting experiences I can say that the speeding blood flow and modification of inspiration and expiration greatly relax both my body and mind. Besides, after doing such exercises I can have a nice sleep which is really an asset to academic tasks.

Joining a society

I chose to step out of my comfort zone and I decided to learn how to communicate with people in a more efficient way. To do this I joined a model business negotiation society in which communication skills do matter. In the society I made friends and learned how to express my feelings and ideas while absorbing others’. This has proven to be a great start for me to interact with others in order to exchange information. For now, my marks on coursework have been significantly improved and I am much more open to interact with people all around the world not only to learn from them but also present myself to them.

With all these efforts my anxiety was fading away and my brain started to function more efficiently than before. Ultimately, I successfully finished all the academic tasks of the last term.

 

Finding your formula

by Nevena (Student Blogger: BSc Hons Business Studies (Industry))

“First year doesn’t count!” “Aren’t you going out today?” “I can’t bother going to a 9 am.”

Do these phrases ring a bell when you think of your first year in university? I bet this is the case.

Let’s face it, all of us (or nearly all) underestimate the importance and seriousness of our first year. We go out every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, can’t skip ‘Sugar,’ right? We are excited by the sudden and yet powerful feeling of freedom we are experiencing. Feeling of freedom which gives us momentum to keep socialising with others and practically do whatever we decide without having our parents tell us what we can and can’t do, what we should and shouldn’t do. We skip a lecture from time to time, (we don’t really manage to catch up…just because we were too busy with other things), we go to all the societies we signed up for (after reducing the list of 10 during freshers’ week to 3 at the most for the period after), we search for events or just chill with our flatmates all day long.

Suddenly, the end of first term comes and everyone starts panicking about submitting their first assignments. However, this is not the only problem… the most worrying issue is that you don’t really know how to do it and how it will be marked. “There’s still time,” you tell yourself; “It shouldn’t take me that long,” – your inner voice keeps whispering. There are still a few days left and you realise that leaving an essay for the very last minute wasn’t really the smartest decision and you try to mobilise yourself and still finish it on time. You press the button “Submit assignment,” it is 23:59, you realise you have a minute left (but let’s think of it as 60 seconds because it looks more), your heartbeat fastens… and you see the window on your screen “Successful submission”; and BOOM – everything is finished (you were lucky this time)! You go home for a whole month around Christmas, enjoy your time with friends and family and come fresh for the second portion of uni – the Lent term. But trust me, it is not until the summer term when you start feeling concerned about the 5 exams (at least) that are on your exam timetable. The material is so much that you spend a whole week trying to get back in the studying routine after the second looooong break, and then suddenly you have a few weeks left to the Great Battle… Panic. Panic. Panic!

 

Wait! Stop for a minute. Breathe in. Breathe out. And don’t let yourself press the panic button. You are capable of getting the grades you want (and need) at those exams. Gather yourself, talk to second year students from your course, ask them for advice, make a revision plan and start. Focus and find what studying strategy works best for you. Trust in yourself and work hard for your goal. The results will come soon if you give all you can from yourself.

 

Now, I’ll ask you to do something. Close your eyes and try to visualise the challenging situation as an equation with several unknowns. Remind yourself that you have taken some basic Math lessons in your past and know how to find the result of 2+2. I bet you can calculate an even more complicated problem as 2×22. It’s the same here. Start with small steps. Go through the addition process: revise lecture notes as well as your notes and try to synthesize them in points you can easily remember. Link topics, use arrows, draw mind maps and you will save some extra work. Divide large topics in smaller chunks of nuclei and find associations or real-life examples, so you can relate to theories more easily. Finally, change the way in which you revise – don’t let revision become stagnant. Study on your own, practice past papers with friends, discuss potential exam questions, criticize objectively the theories and concepts. Then, when you sit on the chair behind the desk on your exam date be focused, stay on topic, and think positively. By that time, you will have found out the unknowns of the equation, and your X, Y, and Z will give you the result that you want.

 

We all make mistakes. However, it is important to acknowledge them and learn from them. Look at what you experienced throughout the year and how you approached what happened to you. Draw the conclusions from that and incorporate the lessons next year. You have the ability to find the right formula for yourself. There’s little time left and you can do it!

A helping hand

by Catherine (Student Blogger: BSc Hons Computer Science)

I suffer from anxiety which means I worry about most parts of everyday life, from taking a bus to going to the shops; the example I frequently use is that anxiety is when you’re more nervous about travelling to an exam and being in a crowded room than the actual content of the exam, to the point where you feel knots in your stomach and may suffer a panic attack.

 

During my first year, I was studying a module which had workshops, which are essentially classroom environments structured around working through example questions provided by lecturers. These workshops were based on each week’s lecture material, with the lecturer or teaching assistant running the workshop providing appropriate answers at the end of the class. Despite the workshops being held at 1pm on a Friday just a 2-minute walk from my accommodation, I often felt too anxious to attend; this led to me working through the questions alone from home.

 

Overall this method was beneficial to me as it provided me the resources to study in a structured manner. I attended all my lectures and studied in my spare time so felt relatively confident however, as the answers to workshop questions were not posted to Moodle, I had no way to ensure I was understanding lecture content. My friends did not attend the workshops either, meaning I had no way of accessing the answers.

 

I decided to email my lecturer describing my situation, explaining honestly why I do not attend their workshops; they arranged a time for me to meet with them. When I arrived, I was nervous, as I felt awkward and embarrassed that I had to admit how poor my attendance was, however my lecturer was very understanding and supportive. She had prepared some materials for me to outline the answers that were provided in the workshops as well as some other important information to remember around the question topics. She also discussed my anxiety with me and reassured me that if I ever need to talk about anything or I need any additional help with the module to let her know. I thanked her for her help, and left feeling as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

 

I spent the rest of the day reading through the materials she had offered me, comparing my answers to hers. This allowed me to not only review the content of my answers and highlight differences, but to also reflect on my sentence structure and writing style. I began to take more pleasure in the module and gained a much clearer understanding. This was represented in my end of year grades, as I finished the Module with 71.9%, which equates to a first.

 

I am glad that when I needed help I contacted my lecturer as I had a very positive experience. Even if you only need the answer to a couple of simple questions, I suggest meeting your lecturer rather than simply asking in an email, as they are likely to offer in-depth solutions which will solidify your understanding, and building good rapport is important.

 

It is also important to attend lectures and other classes wherever you can, catching up on any missed work in your spare time. Lecturers can offer support and clarification to those who need it, but you need to have spent time trying to understand the material beforehand. It is also best to contact your college’s welfare team if you need support outside of your course.