Lara Townsley looks into the importance of your first year.

Whether it’s living alone, managing your finances or being responsible for your own learning, fresher year encourages independence on all fronts. Regardless of your previous academic achievements or experiences, university will inevitably be a huge step up for everyone. Unlike school, lecturers are not responsible for every aspect of your academic wellbeing. Although both lecturers and university provide material and learning resources to develop and refine your skills, it is your responsibility to get the work done. As with higher education, more is expected of you in terms of coursework methods and exams, for example revising and researching relevant sources. First year subsequently, introduces you to a wide range of skills previously unfamiliar to you. Regardless of the format of your specific course, fresher year also introduces you to the importance of time management, which is helpful for your course, and is an appealing quality to employers. Fresher year provides you with a solid grounding of experience and information for you to operate from, as you move into your second and third year.

Although the academic work completed in fresher year may not contribute directly to your overall mark at university, those on placement courses will be aware of the importance of this year.

Whilst applying to placements, the company you apply to work with can request to view the results you received from any specific module that have been maintained by the university. This is referred to as an academic transcript. This not only allows the company to evaluate your academic ability, but also allows them to consider your development throughout your time at university. Fresher year provides an opportunity to join new clubs and societies previously unavailable to you. These can consist of not only leisure activities but associations relating to your course that could potentially improve your employability, for example; public speaking, debate society, or label media. This allows you to both develop intrinsic qualities such as social skills and time management whilst having fun and enjoyable experiences. Participation in such also appeals to employers because it shows you are a dedicated individual.

In addition to providing you with experience and opportunities invaluable when looking for a job, fresher year gives you the opportunity to build friendships with individuals that will influence you as you inevitably evolve and adapt to new experiences and situations. Friends will encourage laughter and support throughout your life, but they also have the unique ability to make your University feel like a home.

Not only DOES Fresher year count, it is one of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences of your life.

Lara Townsley


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