This time last year, the year before that and the year before that I was about to start the three years of University. Little did I know what I had in store, but if time travel was ever created I’d like to think I could give myself a few helpful hints, pushes and shoves along the way.
I understand that I can’t give new students a full break-down about what they should do and how they should act, but I can tell myself right?
Dear First Year Me,
So you’ve made it through this far have you? I can’t promise it’s going to get any easier from here I’m afraid. Something pretty big is about to happen in a month, don’t dwell on it, yeah heartache sucks but it’s not the end of the Earth, there’s much better things coming your way, chin up and onward you travel.
Talking of travel, getting the bus home at 5pm in the winter is not fun, the bus wont stop for you twice and you’ll have two early morning panics because the bus hasn’t appeared. Somehow though you still make it to lectures every time; so keep up the good work. Talking of lectures, I know they are long and the chairs aren’t comfy but they’re important and you’ll learn some pretty decent skills. There’s also this time where one of the lecturers gets stuck in the lift on the way up, I’m afraid it’s not the lecturer you’re going to want it to be. Plus point: you don’t have to see that lecturer again until third year, and trust me he’s gotten a lot more interesting by then.
Oh and keep up with the SPSS tutorials as they’re vital when you come into the second year, oh and Matlab, turns out you actually learn to appreciate it a little more (can’t say you run off into the sunset together) but that’s not for an awfully long time yet.
Stay organized, revise (exams are during a massive sunny period so yes you will be going to your first exam in shorts) just because you only need to pass doesn’t mean that you can’t get a first while doing so. Oh and for heavens sake learn the differences between all the different types of differentiation. That room does crazy things to people after 3pm on a Monday. It wont take you long to realise that though.
Enjoy it, it vanishes before you realise.
P.S. Those lectures on colour really are pointless. I’m sorry.
Dear Second Year Me,
Congratulations you made it through to the first year that actually counts toward that degree. This year you will have a useless weeks preparation for your work experience module where the crazy lady will be verifying with everyone that they have job offers all ready for when they graduate. Ignore her. To my knowledge no one in the room has one-look at all their confused faces.
You will leave a grand total of 10 lectures this year having little to no idea what’s gone on and you will leave one of said ten lectures with a giant question mark above your head. Try and understand as much of that as you can; it obviously appears in a past exam paper. Better to know now than two weeks before you sit the exam eh?
There’s also another boring lecture time in the most un-maths room ever. Pay attention. Even though its warm and you feel sleepy and everyone else (including the lecturer) has given up keep plowing through- when that exam comes you will thank me. I think this is the year your calculator battery packs in a month before the exams too. So buy that second calculator while they are cheap. Good Student.
There’s a huge mix up with lectures this year due to an accident. You’ll get used to it but it becomes a bit more odd to readjust once January rolls around. It’s manageable though and you can do it I’m sure.
This year is kind of the start of something else life wise. You won’t care at all to begin with and then you’ll act like an idiot but then something will click and it might actually start to make a little more sense. However it does move about as fast as a snail and it’s actually all your fault. Speed it up and just take the risk a bit sooner- it’s a good distraction from something else that you thought might be promising. Everything happens for a reason and all.
First Year went quicker than you thought it would eh?
P.S. Vampires and Maidens is a good way to explain the algorithm, give it a chance. Oh and your friend really does have a week wearing chopsticks in his gloves. It’s still odd to think about now.