What I Take to My Lectures…

Starting seminars and lectures can feel super daunting, especially when you have no idea what to expect! I remember when I was first starting out, and I was frantically scouring through YouTube in hope of finding helpful videos, advising me on what to take with me! It’s safe to say, this is no ‘first day of high school’ scenario – no need for multiple useless folders and wallets to be stuffed into your oversized backpack. So I truly hope this post puts your mind at rest a little bit, and reassures you!

Backpack/handbag – There’s really no right or wrong answer with this one. You’ll definitely need one either way, but this is completely dependent on your personal preference. Firstly, consider the amount of unnecessary luggage you carry around with you on top of those supplies deemed slightly more vital. Just as long as your bag is durable and comfortable, choose what takes your fancy!

Notebook/laptop – For me, this was biggest concern. I feel it’s a common myth to assume all students attending university use laptops in seminars, but this is super untrue! This is totally down to you and your personal preference of how note taking, takes your fancy. For me, I just prefer collating written notes, whilst others prefer access to power points in which they can quickly ‘copy & paste’ information straight over onto their notes. Research how your course assess you, that’s my best advice!

Diary – I super recommend picking one of these up before starting university. It’s been my number one life saver. I write down everything in there. So much information is thrown at me each day, so if you get into the habit of writing them down now, you should never get caught behind schedule.

Pencil Case – Do I really need to state the obvious here?

Hair Brush – Hey, I’m a girl! What do you expect?

Mobile Phone – This is super handy for pulling up power-points already posted onto ‘Blackboard’ – helpful if you’re a little behind on note taking.

Purse – There are plenty of cafes around campus, so if you’re fortunate to receive a break between seminars and don’t fancy walking two minutes back to your accommodation, grab a bite to eat with your friends!

Keys – Kinda important don’t you think…

AND THAT’S IT? Nothing too unusual to what you would usually take out with you really, is it? I told you there was nothing to worry about!

 

Lectures? Seminars?

Hi everyone!

Hope you’ve all had an amazing January. This week I’m going to be giving you a little bit of an insight into what the lectures and seminars are like at university.

Some of you might not know what lectures and seminars entail, and sometimes they can be completely different depending on what course you decide to do.

In this post I hope to give you a little bit of an overview and help you understand what class sessions might look like for you.

In English Literature we currently study three modules a semester, and we have a certain amount of contact time each week- that’s basically the amount of time we spend in class with tutors.

For me it’s 4 hours per module, and 12 hours a week in total. It may not sound like a lot compared to your current timetable, but one of the major differences about university is the amount of independent work that you have to put in. This free time helps you do that without over-stretching yourself.

Each module I study has a one hour lecture followed by a one hour lecture workshop, and then a 2 hour seminar later in the week.

So the lecture will be delivered by one of your tutors and it will provide an overview of the main discussions point each week. It will introduce new ideas for you to keep in mind, and is a chance to make some helpful notes for yourself.

A little tip: most tutors make their lecture slides available online so you don’t have to copy everything down, just key points.

For my course each lecture is followed by the workshop. We move into smaller groups, and use this time to start discussions about the lecture, or to clarify things we don’t understand.

Workshops are also usually when your tutor will set you reading for the week. Often you have a few days between a lecture and a seminar, so you can go away and do some research before the seminar.

Seminars are used to take the new ideas and theories for the week even further. It’s basically a chance to discuss ideas with your peers and enhance your understanding.

Seminars are much less informal than the classes you may be used too. Tutors will usually prompt you to take over the discussions, and this is a really rewarding experience.

I hope this has helped with your understanding of how typical university teaching and learning works, and if you have any questions about lectures, seminars or anything else don’t hesitate to ask!

Quote for the day: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

Until next time! 🙂

Seminars?

So guys,

You’re probably settling into your new environment and making friends, with Freshers’ week drawing to a close. With seminars and lectures about to start, you may be wondering what a seminar actually consists of. Well, a seminar usually lasts around 45 minutes to an hours, in which a tutor leads a small discussion based upon elements from your lectures. Seminars are usually the hour before or after the lecture allowing you to interact with other students to hear their opinions and views. This is your area to ask the tutor any questions on area you either don’t understand or would like further guidance. Often they ask you to pre-read different texts or pieces of research, which they will then reference during the seminar.

WORD OF WARNING- Seminar tutors don’t take kindly to people who turn up unprepared and in extreme cases may ask you to leave. So always remember to take any texts that are needed and the notes you made from the previous lecture (But how did you expect to complete the seminar without your notes, eh? Ahaha).

Seminars are a great way to not only interact with your course, but your fellow students as often they’ll be the same group of people are every seminar. Happy seminaring!

Until next time…

Applicant Visit Day?

Hey guys!

Attending an applicant visit day?

I wish I had the option to attend one when I was trying to pick my University. I mean, yeah I went to all the open days (three times for EHU to make sure I wanted to come here), but I didn’t experience a day around campus.

Recently I helped out on one of the social science applicant visit days and it was fantastic. Edge Hill went above and beyond to accommodate any needs for students arriving. Student helpers assisted in guiding students around the campus along with providing campus tours. In the social science department (where I helped out), a taster lecture was presented by Kirsty- a member of the social science team. The session lasted an hour and a half, of which the students asked questions and interacted with the talk perfectly. The students got to meet the head of the department who held a talk in one of the lecture halls and activities where arranged in the HUB for students entertainment. EHU’s catering staff provided a spread of delicious food and treats for everyone, which everyone seemed to appreciate.

These days allow you to ask any questions about your course, accommodation and University experience that you haven’t already received an answer to. Staff are happy to discuss topics, along with anything you want to know about the University. Student helpers are also willing to provide an honest answer to their experience of EHU.

We hope you’ll give our applicant visitor days a chance, because we know you’ll enjoy it!

Until next time…:)

Lecture, seminar, assignment… Repeat!

So what’s going on in my course recently?

(For those who have just started reading these blogs, I’m a second year Sociology (BA Hons) student.)

Well, for starters, I’m half way through a 3000 word essay- I’m so beyond stressed it’s unreal. I seem to enjoy leaving everything until the last minute to finish. I have moments of panic, waves of stress and on some rare occasions I have shed a few tears over essays (a bit dramatic or?). I do this every time to be honest. About a month before an essay is due, I have a really positive attitude. I’ve got my books all set to read, I’ve booked into my academic diary the days I’m going to dedicate to it and I’ve done my research. I’m ready…

Fast forward three weeks and I’m not even close to being ready. The positive attitude has faded and my lazy side has arrived. The books I got out three weeks ago have hardly been touched- and I forgot to renew them so I have a lovely big fine, yay. I look through my academic diary and count all the days I didn’t bother to do any work that I scheduled in and regret it instantly. But, and there’s always a but that saves me, I still have a week to fix things. So I have been reading non-stop for 7 days now. When I do stop for an hour here and there, I’m researching case studies to back up my evidence. I’ve started typing up my findings and I’m almost halfway through. Things are looking bright.

Aside from my essay stress, my course has been interesting. I’m currently doing modules covering Conflict, focusing on the troubles in Ireland. In another module I’m studying Diversity and Equality. This is my favourite topic as we cover gender, race, disability, class and education (all very interesting issues). I’m also doing a module on Sexuality and Research Methods.

So, yeah, things are busy with loads of assignments and exams coming up. LUCKY ME!

Until next time…:)