Coming from sixth form or college, moving on to the more independent way of learning that is required at university, can seem like jumping over a hundred-metre canyon — an impossible challenge. I can completely understand why it may feel this way. It may be that you’re moving from further afield, where you’ll be making new friends, meeting new teachers and maybe even starting a new job. Learning to learn again — so to speak. That being said, it shouldn’t feel daunting.
This new way of learning that we are all about to discover doesn’t have to be viewed like a mountain that needs to be ascended, or a like a giant leap into the unknown.
In fact, changes like this, can be the best thing to happen to every single one of us. We can reinvent who we are, dispose of our tired methods of studying, and embrace this next challenge with open arms.
We’ll all be attending lectures, that’s an inevitability if you want to succeed, and these may seem alien to many of us upon starting our respective journeys. However, for me I couldn’t be more excited about seeing what’s in store. Being taught by some of the best minds in my field of study fills me with pure elation. My advice would be to go in with an open mind and be as prepared as possible.
Take your laptop, your notebook, your pens, pencils, highlighters, whatever! Just prepare because being a first-year student we simply don’t know what could be thrown our way.
Now, you and I may look back on these decisions in the future thinking ‘Crikey, how could I have been so naïve? All I needed was a pen and a bit of scrap paper’, but, the point is, that its always better to overprepare if possible, because you never know when it might save you. You’ll be the one laughing when you’ve got sixteen copies of your lecture notes, plus two high definition recordings! There’s no way that work will go missing. Plus, nobody will judge you (aloud at least), because everyone just wants to be your friend!
In a week or two you’ll soon figure out what works best for you and you’ll wonder why you were ever worried.
Arguably the most exciting thing for me in terms of learning will be exploring and spending time in the libraries and study spaces. Yes, I may change my mind during exam season when I’ve spent too long studying, but for me now, I cannot wait to look around. Having spent a short amount of time looking around the Brotherton Library I can say that Leeds really has got it right! These spaces are fantastic and have a fantastically chilled-out atmosphere that enable us to get some serious work done. These spaces will make our independent study time that much better. How can you be stressed when surrounded by stunning architecture? For me, you can’t.
On the whole, I would say that we should not fear these changes in our learning styles that are ahead of us, we should embrace them. Learning to learn again may be one of best bits of self-improvement we ever do.