Learning How to Uni

#HelloMyNameIsSophie, I am final year student paramedic. I started at Surrey in 2017, but before coming to university I did my A levels, then worked as an operating theatre assistant in my local hospital back home in Devon for two years and then went on to do an Access Course to Higher Education at my local college which enabled me to progress to university.

I have wanted to be a Paramedic since I was ten and feel slightly scared by the fact that soon (hopefully) that dream will become a reality. I have thoroughly enjoyed university life, including being part of ParaSoc for my first two years as well as the sports societies and extracurricular bits and bobs that Surrey offer. I love the course and university so far, but I have also struggled a lot at times, therefore I am always keen to offer support to other students and help other years. I found support in other students and the course tutors when I struggled and there’s always help around, you just have to say “I’m struggling” and then you’ll get the help you need.

These are my top tips on how to get into university life and find your feet, something that’s essential but also easy to struggle with. I found university very exciting but daunting at the same time, it takes you out of your comfort zone and pushes you, which is great but also nerve racking! My biggest bit of advice is to get involved with as much as possible, be that sports societies, getting to know your flatmates or taking part in some of the ParaSoc events, socials and committee roles! But anyway, here are my top 10 tips!

  1. Get involved in as much stuff as you can!
  2. Make your room cosy but studious. The library is also a great place to study so make study dates and utilise SPLASH and all the support available.
  3. Stay on top of your workload and revision early. I’m still learning how to do this! But ask for help if you’re struggling – everyone else will probably feel the same and if they say they aren’t then they are kidding themselves!
  4. Try and get a bit of a routine. Do some study, exercise and meal plan and prep (I have managed to master the art of procrasti-baking).
  5. Find out the best time to do your washing. You’ll thank me later.
  6. Take time out for yourself. I had many naps during my first year – the course can be tiring! Find that work-life-family-everything else balance.
  7. Get to know your fellow course mates and support each other. You’ll 100% need each other when it comes to placement, studying and practicing OSCES.
  8. Ask people in the years above for help. It’s good for us to practice too and we are all more than willing to help out!
  9. If need help just ask. I have personally used the Centre of Wellbeing/Wellbeing Hub and the tutors for support throughout my years at university, and remember the tutors are there to help but they can’t if they don’t know what’s going on!
  10. Take your time and learn “how to uni”.

Best of luck to all the first years! I’m so excited for you! I’m always happy to be contacted so feel free to get in touch if needed, no question is too ridiculous.

Sophie x

sr00349@surrey.ac.uk