Starting university is both an exciting and confusing time. There’s a lot to get used to and it can be difficult to know what you should and shouldn’t do so to help you get started I’m sharing my own experiences and what I have picked up along the way.
Get a network
While you are in first year it is a good idea to meet as many people as possible and experience as much as you can when your grades do not necessarily have a huge impact on your overall degree. Getting to know second and third year students from your course is helpful because having been through it themselves they can give you vital advice on lecturers, electives to avoid and other essential study tips.
Get an insight
Another good idea is to apply to insight experiences and other events catered toward first year students by hiring companies. (For law students like me, websites like Legal Cheek or lawcareers.net have a list of events and deadlines so look out for them.)
A lot of companies hire their graduate recruits (from programmes they run) before people start applying in their final year or once they’ve graduated, which is something most people don’t realise till it is too late.
Looking at opportunities early on in your degree will give you a head start over your competition!
It is a good idea to start early by building experience in lots of different fields and improving your CV while also getting more familiar with the application process.
Here are my main tips to help you navigate university and avoid the same mistakes I did.
- Take the initiative to find opportunities both in university and outside university
- Search the university’s website and careers hub for job opportunities such as student ambassador, widening participation and more
- Make full use of your university’s careers service – they offer mock interviews, application advice and a lot more
- Think about your career early on and look around – you’re not tied to your degree and there’s so many opportunities out there
- LawCareers.net has a list of deadlines for anybody interested in law and organisations like SEO and RARE are incredibly helpful for students with minority or disadvantaged backgrounds
- LinkedIn is very helpful when it comes to anything career/professional networking related
- If you want to start a business, City offers amazing support and can even find your idea so really put yourself out there.
A final boring but useful tip
Another thing I would want to tell my past self would be to get very well acquainted with your university’s online learning portal. Moodle is the website City uses so you can access all your modules, submit exams and other important things like get reading lists or past exam questions.
Taking the time to get to know your way around Moodle (or whatever your university uses) and checking it regularly will make life so much easier because it means you know where to find all the information you need to improve your chances of getting a good grade.
And finally, don’t forget to enjoy your university experience. First year flies by and university will be over before you know it.
Niffy is a final year Law student at City, who moved to London for university. Check out Niffy’s other posts on how to survive your first year at uni:
- Making Friends at uni
- Opportunities at uni and the actual study bit
- Finance (or How to avoid surviving on £10 for two weeks)