University Education- how will it differ to your previous studies?

Emily Hall guides readers through how studying at University is going to be different to their previous education. 

We go through education step by step: preschool, infants, junior, secondary, college, sixth form, or whatever institutional setting you found yourself in. Our education was planned and mapped out for us. All that was expected was that we attend and try out best. When the prospect of university looms, some people know that path isn’t for them, whereas others are already desperate to commence undergraduate study. However, I don’t think people realise how different university is to previous educational environments we’ve been exposed to as children.

“No one is made to feel an outsider; a wallflower who can’t seem to find their place to fit into the crowd”

The population of universities tend to be more than that of schools and sixth form. The array of people, their passions and personalities offer a diversity that might not have been so apparent at your previous education. No one is made to feel an outsider; a wallflower who can’t seem to find their place to fit into the crowd. The opportunities and experiences available at university are vast and people often manage to find their niche.

“How much you study, and how well, is entirely up to YOU”

The freedom that comes with university study is both liberating and daunting. Courses often have optional modules, meaning you can actually choose what you study; something which would have been a dream for most of us at school. The things we weren’t so good at can be largely forgotten and you can focus on what inspires you and lights the intellectual spark within you. However, with this comes a greater responsibility. Although you will still have figures of authority who care about your wellbeing and academic progress at uni, how much you study, and how well, is entirely up to YOU. You are responsible for how and when you revise, how you approach a lecture or seminar, how many notes you take etc. For some people, this is incredibly overwhelming. We get so used to people structuring our education that when given freedom to study how works best for you, people can find it all too daunting. An important point to remember when you feel like this is that you are at university out of CHOICE. Unlike school, it is not expected of you to be here. You are here (hopefully) because you WANT to be. It is easy for study to become laborious but remember how privileged we are to have the option to further our education and enjoy ALL that university has to offer alongside your degree.

“Remember to always seek help if you need to”

Attending university comes with pressure and expectation, be it from your family, friends, or yourself. There is an expectation to succeed, not only academically but to throw yourself into uni life and have the best 3 years of your life. This may be the case, but it may not be. You might find yourself completely overwhelmed with how different Uni is to a school environment and that the world beyond your hometown is a daunting one. Just know, most of us are thinking the exact same thing, and remember to always seek help if you need to. 

Emily Hall 

Featured image courtesy of Steven Brewer via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

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