Fourth year Engineering Student, Jose, shares his top 10 tips for starting university life.
After having completed three years of my intense MEng Course in Civil Engineering, I can begin by saying… you will enjoy the course! It will be a challenging course which will test several of your abilities in calculus, algebra, logic, and then will allow you to explore new areas which you probably didn’t even know existed, but I certainly hope my top 10 tips will help you think about how to begin this journey with your right foot.
1. Be passionate about your subject
As an Engineering student, there’s a vast field of specialisation where your career may lead, thus, don’t limit your interests to one particular subject, but rather open up your mind to appreciate all the aspects this career has to offer.
2. Choose carefully where you will be living
University is all about experiences, choosing where you will live can have a big impact on this, which can be positive or negative according to your personality and needs.
3. Research university societies, upcoming social events and get involved with areas of interest.
Social life is also a big part of university. There are a vast variety of clubs, groups, organizations, events and societies always going on, which may suit different aspects of your interests.
4. Be prepared to manage your money correctly
Being a university student may involve an unusual amount of expenses which you have not experienced before, so know your budget and start thinking about how to manage it.
5. Understand how things work
Engineering is not about using an equation, but understanding what the equation is trying to tell you. The most important thing is not to remember a procedure and the equations to use, but to understand what you are trying to obtain from the procedures in place.
6. Be prepared to write essays, not just calculations
Calculations do make a big part of being an engineer, but essay writing will not be left in the past. Coursework, laboratory reports and even exams will be filled with essays, so be prepared to write… a lot.
7. Work in groups, don’t let the groups work you
Plagiarism is taken very seriously in university. It is ok to work in groups, but work should not be copied from someone else’s, but written with your own words and understandings. If plagiarism is seen in place, it can have a variety of consequences, from marks deducted to severe suspensions.
8. Study hard and from the beginning
Unlike GCSE’s and A-Levels, university lectures do not go over the same topic over a few days, you will be given a fair amount of time to do coursework and revise for your exams/tests, but you need to use it wisely.
9. Have your upper-year contacts
Lecturers are great at what they do, but they will not always be free to answer all your questions like regular teachers, so the next best thing (after books), is having someone from an upper year who can try to answer your questions.
10. Your Personal Tutors are there to help
Personal Tutors are not there to keep an eye on you every morning like a registration tutor, but they will be there to guide you whenever you seek help, so make the most out of them, because they will provide their best to make your university experience as pleasant as possible.