Hi everyone. I’m the new blogger for the Physics Department. I’ve just recently started at Leicester so I’m still in first year. The memory of sixth form is still very fresh in my mind so I hope that I’ll be able to provide a good comparison and contrast between life in sixth form and life at university, with a Physics twist! Life at university revolves around the major you pick, more so than at sixth form where it is at most a third of your focus, being one of 3 A Levels. I look forward to writing for you and I hope you look forward to reading. I’ll start off by telling you about my experience with preparation for my first exams at university.
“If there’s something you need done tomorrow, do it today, and if there’s something that needs to be done today, do it now”. Only in the last weeks of term do you fully appreciate the value in these words. As the year comes to a close, so does my first term at university. With every helping of fun there were two of stress, and hard work. I feel that I didn’t quite manage my time to the best of my capabilities and as work piled up, I wasn’t able to keep up, but luckily I managed just fine, however I’m determined to not let this happen again to me as I surely did not enjoy the extra stress.
I asked around for tips from people in my year and the years above who seemed on top of their work load, and I was surprised at how similar their responses were. It seemed like there indeed was a recipe for success! They all agreed on the following things and I think they are excellent tips for everyone:
1) Do some work every day, procrastination isn’t going to get you anywhere.
2) Take regular breaks, daily and weekly, over burdening yourself will not do any good.
3) Make use of the department’s open door policy, in retrospect, I could have asked more questions and I’d now have clearer concepts. Our department is one of the few that operates an ‘open-door policy’ which basically means that if a lecturer’s door is open, you’re welcome to go in and ask questions.
Normally at other universities, you would have to email in advance to set a specific time to ask your question, but I’ve found that there are always a few doors open during office hours(9-5pm) in our department, and you never have to wait!
They also recommended that I watch lectures online, uploaded by other universities. This seemed like an excellent idea and I quite liked the couple of lectures I watched on fluid dynamics by MIT. If you watch it before or after your lecture at university, it reinforces the material and offers another perspective to the topic which can be very helpful at times.
The top three websites that have helped me over the years are the MIT, Yale,and Harvard University websites. They have a vast collection of lectures on topics that are also taught at Leicester and if used properly are an amazing resource.What I find very helpful with these courses is that you can at your own leisure rewind, pause and replay these lectures to maximize learning and I’ve found them to be very aiding and helpful.
On the whole, when I got through the one-month preparation period for exams by using the tips that everyone gave me, I was much more confident than before and the exams went very well. I hope this helps and I’ll talk to you guys soon! Bye for now!