I had my first lecture of the year on Monday. I’ve now been in education for about 17 years, yet without fail every first day of the term will involve me feeling pretty apprehensive, it’s something I’ve never quite overcome! This is also the last first day of the year I’ll have in education, so I fully intended to make the most of it. However, the rain was pouring, I was bleary eyed as my class was at 9am, and my friend was running late so we had to dash across to campus, so it’s safe to say that the morning passed in a bit of a blur. And as for the lecture… having only had seminars for the last year as I was in Germany, I’m not sure I was quite ready for the huge amount of knowledge that gets chucked at you in a lecture. Honestly, I walked out of the lecture theatre in a bit of a state of shock…
I thought I’d mention this, because I think that especially during the first week when deadlines get forced upon you and you’re a bit rusty at the whole education thing and lecturers talk at a million miles an hour, it can all seem a bit daunting. In my first year I spent the whole first semester feeling like I had no idea what was going on and that I was the only one in this position. Then I spoke to my friends about it, and started talking to people in my seminars, and I realised that this feeling is fairly universal. Even that person with the colour co-ordinated notes and three million files is probably just trying to kid themselves that they’ve got everything under control! This year, I came out of the lecture and told my friend I felt overwhelmed, only to have her reply with the most meaningful “SAME” I’ve heard in a while. Then I went home and spoke to my housemates, who all also admitted to feeling a bit frazzled. Sometimes university can seem a bit much, but if it does then it’s a good thing to remember that a lot of other people are in the same position, and somehow you manage to muddle through. There are also plenty of people you can turn to for help if things really do prove too much, including the personal tutor system and the welfare team.
With regards to the huge amount of information given in a lecture, there are a couple of things I can recommend:
1. Record the lectures
Leicester is currently recording some lectures but I don’t think they’re doing all of them yet, and also they can get put online quite a bit after the original lecture, so it’s a good idea to consider recording the lectures yourself so that you can play them back later and make sure you’ve got everything written down.
2. Don’t worry about what’s on the lecture slides
If you just leave space in your notes for the information on the slides, quite often they get put online after the lecture so you can look back over them in your own time. This means that in the lecture you just need to get down the extra information the lecturer is saying, which makes things a lot more manageable. On that note, sometimes the lecturers put up the slides beforehand, so another thing you could do is print out the slides before you go to the lecture so that you can just add extra to the slides.
The slight “too much” feeling aside, it’s great to be back at Leicester and be getting back into the swing of things 🙂 In my next post I’ll talk a bit about my classes and give you an idea about what it’s like to be a final year English student.