Preparing for your first or second year

Student Princeton is just going into his second year, and has some great tips on getting prepared for your year ahead – just before the Autumn term starts!

Preparing for your first or second year will give you an important advantage to ensure that the rest of your following academic year runs smoothly.  This short blog will cover some of the essential things you could be doing to have a smooth and efficient start to your year.

Write a C.V

Not only are C.Vs used for jobs, you may also need to provide a C.V for work experience or voluntary work. It is compulsory that you have a well-presented C.V which highlights your accomplishments and unique set of skills to allow you to stand out to your future employers.

Work experience

Taking part in work experience or voluntary work allows you to gain more knowledge and improve your skills which lets you build a stronger C.V. For example, I study a degree in biology so I decided to shadow doctors and work in labs.

University routine

Making a plan or routine for your week can be very important as it will help you save time in the long run and keep you organized.  Similarly, you should look at recommended reading lists for your modules to get ahead of your course. This will give you time to prepare and to ask questions about topics you are confused about.

Note taking and essay writing

If you are beginning first year looking at note taking methods such as the Cornell method will help you keep your notes more organized. The Cornell method is a technique many students find very useful. You can find tutorials on how to use the Cornell method on YouTube. Many modules also have coursework that is graded by essays, so refining your essay writing will help you get better grades. You can find many guides and tutorials for essay writing on the University of Reading library. The library provides many tutorial videos covering a range of topics which I’ve used during my first year.

Enjoy and Relax!

Lastly it is important that you relax and enjoy the last of the summer before the start of your academic year. Spending time with friends, trying out new hobbies and exploring new places will help take off any stress before the start of your year at university. My hobbies include photography and music. I recently started teaching myself the guitar at university and I will continue learning it during summer. I’m also going to be travelling to Italy this summer with my friends to spend time with them and to relax.

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