Top tips on surviving your first term at university from someone who has been there

Your first term at university can be nerve-wracking and with the excitement of fresher’s week over, the reality of studying at degree level can begin to set in.

We spoke to 20-year-old Maram Eghlileb, a second-year student studying Pharmacy (MPharm) at Cardiff University, who shared her experience of her first term at university with us.

Maram Eghlileb - top tips first term blog

Starting university can be a daunting thought for many people, including myself, but nonetheless so many people have experienced it and were able to ‘survive’ their first term!

Although I’m from Cardiff, just like many people that have moved here for university, I had to familiarise myself with the buildings and the city campus. I think this is one of the first things you should do when starting university as this helped ease the stress of getting lost or being late to my lectures, seminars or placements.

The thought of meeting new people and making friends can be intimidating, however, remembering that everyone is in the same boat and is feeling the exact same makes the process slightly easier. Simply smiling and saying hello can start a great conversation and possibly result in long-term friendships.

One of the greatest aspects of going to university is the fact that you will meet people from varying backgrounds, personalities and nationalities; which you will learn so much from. I can assure you that you will find a group of friends that will be your perfect match.

In addition to making friends in my year group, I found it really beneficial to socialise with people from outside my course. By joining societies and becoming an academic rep I met 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students that were incredibly welcoming and reassuring and offered great advice.

Before starting university, people will most likely advise you to throw yourself at as many things as possible, which I agree with to an extent. It’s great to sign up to societies that interest you and get involved in the university community but be reasonable with the number of societies you join. You don’t want to be feeling even more overwhelmed.

Keeping up with the workload is essential. As tempting as it may be to leave academic study until ‘later’, you risk putting yourself in a difficult situation. Keep up with your notes and write them up while you still remember the lectures rather than leaving them towards the end of the term. The first term will be a great time to figure out what style of revision at university best suits you.

With all this in mind, it’s important to enjoy yourself and to make the most of the opportunities university brings!

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