This academic year marks a return to even more in-person and on-campus teaching and learning, following another year of hybrid studying. Some students will also be starting their first year at university, which, though exciting, may also seem a little bit challenging.
The tips in this post can help you prepare for the new academic year and make sure that you can make the most out of your studies and in person classes.
- Check your timetable when it is released (usually towards the end of Welcome Week). Are all your classes on campus or are some of them still online? Do you have any pre-recorded lectures that need to be watched?
- Read all guidance and emails. Your School and course organisers will communicate what learning and teaching will look like for you, as this can differ between schools, degree programmes and courses. Make sure to read all of this information carefully and don’t hesitate to ask if anything is unclear.
- Make sure you know where all your classes are. If you’re new to the University and to Edinburgh, maybe go for a walk around your campus during Welcome Week and have a look around. When going to your first classes, ensure you have plenty of time to find your classroom. Also, check if you have any online classes as well.
- Develop a study plan. Even though in-person teaching may give a bit more structure to your days, studying at university requires good organisation and time management skills. Make sure that you plan breaks, time to socialise with friends and any other responsibilities. This way you can make the most of your time and maintain a good work-life balance. For more tips check out the Study Hub Learning Resources time management and organisation tips.
- Prepare everything you may need. Think about how you would like to make notes – do you prefer writing on paper or on your laptop? What about readings – is reading on a screen fine, or would you rather print things? For more guidance on this, watch out for new posts on the Study Hub Blog next week – these will give detailed tips on reading and note making at university.
- Prepare for your classes. Are there any readings that you need to do before your lecture or tutorial? Did your lecturer suggest you go over the lecture slides before class? Make sure you do all these in advance, so that you feel prepared and can make the most of your classes.
- Ask for help if you feel you need it. We all struggle with course materials sometimes and you can only make the most of your learning if you ask for clarification on the things you are stuck on. Find out who to ask (e.g. a lecturer or a tutor) and how. Your course handbook or LEARN page may detail what the best way to do this is.
- Participate in class. It can often be very tempting to skip that 9am class, but lectures and tutorial are essential to your learning. And once you get there, make the most of your time – participate actively in discussions and ask questions, as this is crucial to your learning.
- Get to know your coursemates. Everyone’s in the same situation, so talking to other people if the course material begins to feel a bit intimidating or if you feel like you’re falling behind can often be very reassuring. Studying together with your friends and classmates can also be a great way of revising before exams and it also allows you to make friends and build a community.
Over the course of the academic year, we will be providing more articles on the Study Hub Blog to help you throughout your degree. Further tips and advice are also available on the Study Hub Learning Resources page. Stay tuned!