University Edition: Exams, Friends, Coursework and Scheduling

Another week, another Monday so that means my third and final blog post about my first year university experience! 
I thought for this post, I'd just talk about four main topics that I was especially worried about. These four things are exams, friends, coursework and scheduling.

Exams. I suppose going straight to uni from high school was pretty handy in the sense that I was used to end of year exams. However, they are a little bit different. The main difference was that in my first year at uni I was only sitting one exam. It was a written exam, in a gym hall with invigilators. This meant that it was a familiar setting to the exams I'd previously sat. Pretty much the only exception was that I wasn't surrounded by loads of people that I knew. I did have my friend Yasmin by my side though which made things better! Luckily, we both passed that exam. 

Friends. I'm quite a shy person so the thought of being flung into a new environment with a whole lot of new people seemed really daunting to me. But luckily, I had my friend by my side as we are both studying the same course at the same university. However, there are some tutorials and seminars (these are just like lectures, but smaller and with less people where you can ask the tutor questions) where my friend and I were split up so I had a decision to make. Either sit by myself, or go and sit next to someone. I decided to do the latter and thank goodness I did because it really is half the battle. It's as if people are terrified to go near people they don't know in those situations haha! It starts off conversation and then gives you a little study buddy for that seminar. You're sorted! At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether or not you talk to people at university and make friends, although I would say you should try to make acquaintances. Just remember you aren't there to make a new best friend, you are there to learn! But, you may as well make the most of it!! 

Coursework. My social sciences course was filled with coursework that would make up our final grade at the end of the year. This was compiled with the one end of year exam result that I talked about earlier. My coursework consisted of essays, essays, a couple of multiple choice question tests and more essays! Like I said previously about the exam situation, I felt lucky to have been in the way of writing essays from high school because I saw a lot of people in my classes who were really worried about, and struggled, writing essays. I did question whether or not a high school essay and a university essay would be very different, and the answer to this is no they aren't very different, but you do need to up your game. I feel like the lecturers know this though, and so provide a lot of help on essay writing techniques and give you easy(ish) tasks at first to ease you into it. So, DO NOT panic! I promise you, you'll get there.

Scheduling. By scheduling, I mean time management. This was something I remember talking to my friend Kaitlin about while we wandered around our local shopping centre one night. I was thinking, "How will I manage this? There's university, my job, seeing my family, trying to learn to drive, all the while maintaining some kind of social life!!". That was the problem though. Listing it all like that just made everything seem so much worse than the reality of it all. Instead, I just wrote everything down. Write it all down on a piece of paper and schedule. You can write down what days and times you will be at university, which days you work and then you will actually realise that there IS time leftover for you to fit in an afternoon with you mum or a night out with the girls. It's just a matter of planning and agreeing when you can meet up. After a few weeks, everything will fall into place and you'll manage to find a little routine in your week. 

Thank you very much for reading and I hope you've enjoyed this little university series! I'll probably write up a post about what to wear to university, but that'll probably just be a fashion post :)

LIFE OF RILEY 

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