• 18 October 2019
  • 9 min read

Four tips to help you prepare for success in your first year at University

  • Louisa Lewis
    Student Midiwfe

Louisa offers 4 useful tips to nurses and midwives about to embark on their first year of a degree course.

Play video: Louisa gives a blast of tips on how to meet the challenge of your first year at University

Topics covered in this video

0.00 Introduction

0.52 Don't be afraid to ask for help

1.54 Get yourself an A6 notepad and take written notes

3.46 Use the library as much as possible

4.15 Know your cohort and get a great friendship group

0.00 Introduction

Today's video is going to be how to smash the first year of university, midwifery edition. Now, I'm so excited to film this video. I cannot believe my first year was two years ago, like what? And it's a serious thing, I'm 30, like I'm like 30, I can't believe I can be like giving you this advice because like it's [inaudible 00:00:34] gone, and even on my second year, and like I actually did pretty decent in my first year.

Second year I kind of fell on my butt. But, the first year I did pretty decent. So, yeah, like whoa, I'm actually qualified to like tell you guys some of this stuff. I'm going to speaking about like things I wish I had done, learn from my mistakes, and also learn from the things that I did.

0.52 Don't be afraid to ask for help

So, one thing that really helped me is that I was not afraid to ask for help in first year. I know I've done a whole video about this already. But, I wanted to like reiterate that I was not afraid in first year to ask for help.

As soon as like I was secured, I was in the course, I did my testing, and then I found out I was actually dyslexic, which I always thought. But, then after awhile when everyone stop and tells you like, "no, we're not going to test you because you're not dyslexic enough." You kind of just think, okay maybe I'm just dumb.

But, I finally got tested when I went to university, and I am dyslexic, that is official, and that was the first step for me to getting help.

So, then fall after that I was able to get like official like help with exams, and have extra time, and like you know certain things that I needed, and also read and write essays. I got really cool software that can help me right a dunk because I have a terrible short term memory, like absolutely terrible, and so I was able to get some help.

So, make sure you go and get help, like don't feel bad about it. It's there for us, we're paying for it, so you might as well just use it. But, yeah, so that's one thing.

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1.54 Get yourself an A6 notepad and take written notes

My second thing is take notes, take notes in every situation you're in. At university take notes, I know people say, "the slides, the lecture slides are online, it doesn't matter." Like, when I go on my computer, I end up watching TV on my computer okay, it's terrible.

But, my laptop has about 10 tabs open that it just full of TV shows, okay, and it's bad. I get sucked in, happened earlier today, I was supposed to be doing something else, and I ended up watching completely different shows. Like just save yourself aggro, take some notes. If you're not good at note taking, then yeah, just like get the slides open, hopefully your lecturers we'll put the slides on before the lecture, and so that you can download the slides, and you can write your notes on that, so that the main framework is there.

But, if you're like me, you get distracted later on when you go on your computer or whatever it is. I like to just write down notes, and like we'll have a look at extra comments they're saying, I'll write that down, and then when you're on placement as well, get yourself one of these babies, and write down a bunch of notes.

This is full of notes, like this is from halfway through second year. It has some like essay stuff that I've started to write in there, and then also third year, I've been writing a little diary in here. There are so many things I wish I had written down in first year that would be so helpful now, and I can't remember it because it happened so long ago.

So, yeah no, definitely get yourself one of these, a notebook. This is an A6 notebook, so it fits perfectly in my tunic. Or is it A5, I can't remember.

But, it fits perfectly in my tunic pocket, and I've written down so many things, and it's such a lifesaver when you need to remember something quickly, or you want to remember it in the long run, like your mentor/ practice supervisor may have said something really, really helpful, and you just write it down there.

You can remember it, you can be like, "Oh look at that, it's there, I don't need to remember it." Obviously you will remember eventually, but you know what I mean. But, yeah, so that's another tip.

3.46 Use the library as much as possible

So, another tip towards smashing first year is get to know your library. Get out as many books as you can, as soon as you can from your library. That really helped me because I don't like spending money on books, especially books that I'm like probably not going to use after a couple of years, I'm really weird.

If I can I take them out of the library, go there or just like learn the library, learn the system, see where the extra help is, see where the printer is just in case you're one of those people who likes to print off the lecture slides, learn the lay of the land.

4.15 Know your cohort and get a great friendship group

Then also get to know people in your class because they will one day be a great help to you. You never know, you may need help on an assignment or an essay, or for your OSCE, or for whatever it is, you may need that help. You may need to practice with someone, or you may just need someone who understands what you're going through.

So, get to know people in your cohort, get to know them, become friends with them, it's really helpful. As for one thing I semi-regret not doing in first year is getting to know array of people.

I have one best friend in my cohort, and then I have... I have people that I would consider friends, I don't know if they would consider me friends, I don't know. But, I have people I would consider friends, and then I have like acquaintances, like people I will say, "hi," to and like there's the rest of my cohort, and it's so bad. But, then also my cohort is quite cliquey.

I think the other years are quite cliquey as well, but people always say that they're not cliquey. But, you notice that people sit next to... Like who's sitting next to who. I'm like that floating duck, especially if my best friend is not in, I look like such a loner. I am like that floating duck that will seat anywhere. I'm like just give me a seat, give me seat, Ashley sit down.

But, otherwise I wish I did have a bigger group of friends, so that when I needed help I could ask for it. Like I'll go to my best friend, that's one opinion, I like to have a big array of opinions, and of help, to see things from different people's perspectives, that's just what I like to do.

But, yeah, so definitely get a big group of friends who will be there for you, especially people that can help you with your homesickness because I know that's a real thing, and I know some of you guys are struggling with homesickness.

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Like if you've moved into halls for the first time, so yeah, and they'll help you with homesickness, they will help you like fill your weekends. But, also they'll understand you in the cause on some of what you're going through, and also be able to help maybe with the essays and stuff like that.

So, get yourself a nice group of friends because that will really help with first year, and then also get stuck in. If you can join a society, join a club, join like a sports team, get stuck in because it's so important to like find roots.

Like in first year I did cheer, but at Kingston University, and yeah even though I stopped around Christmas time, whenever I see some of those girls I still say, "hey," because it's just like, "oh I recognize your face."

And then in St. George's, I did cheer for second year, and I did it for all of second year. I loved it, and some of those girls I talk to now because I made friends, like you know what I mean?

So, that's something I would suggest, definitely try and get stuck in at your university, so that you can get connected, and find like some people that you can call friends, and like let's go hang out, or whatever it is that when you're having a bad time they can be there for you to pick you up.

So, I definitely suggest that because as much as studying midwifery is like different to like studying your regular uni course, you're going to need help, both socially and academically. And I feel like you should just get... You should have friends within your cohort, yes, because they can understand what you're going through in your degree, but you should also have friends outside of your degree because then you just get a break from them.

But, also you get an array of people that you know, and that's good. Like having a diversity within your friends, even if it's just within what they study is always good because you get a different opinion about different things.

But, yeah, so I think the main things are always asking for help, and also writing down loads of notes, any tips someone says, anything that you think will be important write it down, so that then you can later learn it and remember it eventually, and there's my two most important things everything else is just a bonus, I think.

But, yeah, so I hope this has helped guys, and until next time, keep on being you. If you like this video, you can put your thumbs up, comment down below. Any questions or suggestions, and don't forget, subscribe to get weekly updates. Bye all.

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About the author

  • Louisa Lewis
    Student Midiwfe

I'm a student Midwife studying at Kingston University, partnered with St. Georges in London. Alongside my uni work and placements, I also create vlogs for my channel, Being Louisa, and for Nurses.co.uk.

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  • Louisa Lewis
    Student Midiwfe

About the author

  • Louisa Lewis
    Student Midiwfe

I'm a student Midwife studying at Kingston University, partnered with St. Georges in London. Alongside my uni work and placements, I also create vlogs for my channel, Being Louisa, and for Nurses.co.uk.

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