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Debunking 5 First Year University Myths

Georgia Dalton

If you just picked up your A level results last week and are eagerly anticipating your first year at university, below are five common first year university myths, debunked.

It’s a huge jump from A levels

I didn’t find the jump between A levels and university difficult. I study English Literature and I actually found it better, as there was more variety in terms of texts, and in first year, the lecturers wanted to check your basic interpretation of texts and inspire you to start thinking about periods of literature you like and wanted to explore further. 

Lecturers are scary

Pre-university, lecturers definitely had a reputation of being unapproachable, mystical beings. However, even after my first week at university, I realised that this wasn’t the case. They were even more approachable and made more time for you than any of my secondary school teachers. They are really invested in your journey as a student, especially if you have a genuine passion for the subject. 

Does the university care if I’m struggling with my assignments?

There was a teacher that once told me in secondary school that university lecturers take 10% off your mark each day you don’t hand an essay in. I have remembered it for years and was shocked when I arrived at university when the support of extensions or special circumstances were outlined. Universities aren’t scary and they are here to help you if you are struggling with your assignments. 

Does first year count? 

First year doesn’t go towards your final degree classification, but the way I decided to look at it is first year is your year to make mistakes and experiment accidemically. By the end of my first year, I had gained feedback on my writing style, which means I have a detailed idea of what the lecturers are looking for in essays and I know what mistakes not to make. Whereas, if you don’t take first year seriously at all, you are starting at square one in second year and will end up making mistakes when it actually counts towards your degree. 

Which is better, living at home or in halls?

Again throughout Sixth Form people often questioned how different my experience would be to theirs as I was living at home and they were living in halls. However, reflecting upon this after my first year at university, I don’t think my experience was drastically different. I would stay at my friends’s flats if we wanted to go on nights out, I obviously saved money and I had a separate space at home where I could focus on university work. It’s great to live in halls, but actually living at home isn’t hugely different and suits some types of people more. 

I hope you have the best first year at university! You truly will have the best time of your life. 

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