Top tips before you start university

By Rachael Griffiths a current BSc Wildlife Conservation NTU student

Hi, everyone! My name is Rachael, and I am an undergraduate studying BSc Wildlife Conservation here at NTU. I am currently preparing to undertake my final year at NTU and finally get back on campus – it feels like forever, right? I am also a new Student Mental Health Champion, ready to share my personal knowledge and the advice that I have cultivated while being an NTU student.  

I wanted to share some additional top tips to Leanne’s already wonderful blog regarding what to understand before you start your socialising and academic life at NTU – please follow the link to view Leanne’s blog healthyntu.blog/2021.  

I hope that you have an amazing time becoming a part of the NTU community!  

Invest, evolve, and enjoy! 

Figure out your favourite work techniques ahead of time 

Do you prefer making notes on a laptop/computer or on paper? Can you concentrate better with or without music? Do you enjoy group discussions about the work you’ve all been given, or do you prefer working more independently?  

Now in early September is most definitely the best free time you have to be discovering what your favourite strategies are for working your absolute best. This way you won’t have to worry about it further down the line. You can also experiment with different learning methods, which works best for you. Think about how you usually record information and ideas quickly – lists/bullet points, mind maps, drawings – whatever feels most comfortable and easy to read. Fortunately, only you will see your notes, so you can be as experimental as you want with them! 

I would also recommend software such as Microsoft OneNote or Evernote to help organise your notes and Monday.com to manage deadlines and even group work responsibilities.  

Be proud of YOU 

One of the things I really wish I had told myself sooner is to stop comparing myself to others and their achievements. Don’t get stuck on a loop of feeling like you’re not up to par with fellow classmates – check yourself and become aware of whenever you do this. When you do, remind yourself of all the challenges you have overcome this year – be proud and give yourself some recognition. Identify that negative self-talk. For starters, despite everything, you are still coming to university! That is a huge achievement in itself.  

Remember to invest time in what you enjoy and feed your passions. This can be a sport, extracurricular activity, something related to your course, etc. Here at NTU, we have a page full of societies to get involved with – www.trentstudents.org/groups – check out the list and see if anything sparks an interest.  

If you’d like to sign up to volunteer as a Student Mental Health Champion at NTU or find out more head over to the NTSU website. The scheme is a collaboration led by NTU’s Student Support Services and the NTSU.

For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.


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