As a first year student, I can personally say it is nerve-wracking coming from college to university. At first, I thought I’d find it easier than others because of the amount of time I had been studying Psychology (4 years) compared to other students who had only just started getting involved with the subject. However this isn’t the case, the transition from A-levels is huge.
By the time our first lecture had finished, everyone was baffled by how much information they had taken in since they were so used to being given a textbook and having a teacher tell them all the criteria so it’s fair to say, it’s a whole new experience. If anything it made other people and myself more organised and willing to learn new things. When speaking to other students about how they were getting on in the first few weeks, they were more or less thinking the same thing. The main response I received was “It’s so different to what I thought it was going to be” or “I didn’t learn any of this in college.”
I struggled with the first 1000 word essay because working this independently and handing work in without it being checked first wasn’t something I was familiar with. As a result, I did poorly in it but since then my grades have improved immensely. When looking at that essay compared to one I’ve recently turned in, you could tell there was major improvement and other students felt the same.
It’s definitely a scary process coming to university straight from college because you are independent and you now manage your own time responsibly and that’s when you realise you can’t just sit back and do essays the night before the deadline as if it’s homework. The content of lectures may not always be what you’re interested in but it will benefit you in the long-run with information you’ll need.
I know tutors are telling you that attendance is everything and as a student you brush it off and think it won’t matter but it does, so definitely take on board the advice your tutors give you because they are there to help you at the end of the day.
Despite the work load and the required reading, this doesn’t mean you have to stop going out and having a good time! If anything you befriend people on your course which isn’t bad at all as the girl I met, I’m living with next year. All in all, it takes time to get used to the change but after a month or so, you’ll begin to feel at home at your university.