How many times have you said I wish I knew that in my first year at university? Well, being in my final year, I started reflecting on my university experience and there are number of things I wish I knew as a Fresher. So, for my first post I decided to share seven of them.
1.Honours and GPA
Dear Freshers, you've probably already heard that you’ll need high grades to get into honours after your second year, and that employers are looking for graduates with at least a 2:1 degree. Well, the requirements for job hunting are changing, with the announcement of Ernst & Young in August 2015 that they are removing the degree classification from their entry criteria. “A degree is not enough” - a sentence you’ll hear quite a lot during your time at university. When I was a fresher I thought it was almost impossible to juggle my studies with work/extracurricular activities in order to enhance my CV. What I didn't know at the time was that the GPA is calculated on the bases of your grades from Honours – third and fourth year at university. As long as you pass your exams in the first two years things will be fine. Now, that doesn't mean you should go off drinking and going to parties every night! This simply means that you will have more time for joining societies, exploring Glasgow and travelling in the UK. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?
2.The Extracurricular Activities at University of Glasgow
There is nothing better than joining a society/sport club which can shape your university experience. Being in your first year, you will have the time to meet new people, try something new and exciting, while finding a new hobby. If you haven't found the perfect society for you yet, why not scroll down through the SRC directory? For those of you, who are feeling more adventurous, and like to come up with new ideas, there are a few tips on the SRC website on how to start a society of your own.
3.The Library and The Exam Period
It’s still week 5, but soon the session will knock on our doors. If you are the type of student who prefers studying in the library, then this is for you. When the exam period comes you will learn that even if the library has 12 floors, places are never enough. Now on the UniofG library website you can check the computer availability on each floor, which definitely saves you 20 minutes of searching for a free computer. But it still doesn't help if the only available computers are on the 10th floor and the lift is not working. In this case, if it’s not a weekend, you can head to any of the other buildings on campus. When you go there simply ask the guard where the computer lab is in and chances are you will find a free computer faster.
Ah, applying for internships! Along with the study, the socializing and the procrastination, your university time will include long hours of writing and re-writing cover letters, CVs and filling various application forms for internships. Usually you have to be in your second or third year to secure the long dreaming summer internship. However, my advice is start applying in your first year. There are various voluntary internship opportunities, which you can get after finishing your first year. If you don’t know where to look for opportunities, the Internship Hub (Club 21) always has plenty of term time and summer internships.
5.Languages for International Mobility
I vividly remember when my best friend tried to enrol for Spanish Level 1 in our first year. The demand was so high that she couldn’t get a place in the course. Then her tutor suggested the Languages for International Mobility. Have you heard of those courses? Well, neither had she. It turned out that these language courses are worth 10 credits each per semester, making them of the easiest way to learn a new language at a beginner’s level on campus. If you can't score a place in the regular lectures, there are various foreign languages you can choose from, depending on how exotic you want to be. Classes consist of 15-20 students and run for two hours every week at the Hetherington Building (the Language Building).
6.The Cheapest Coffee on Campus
Part of the student life is the infinite struggle to get up each morning and go to those lectures at 9am. Seriously, how lecturers do that? Well, in days like this coffee is the only thing that save us from falling asleep on the first row of the lecture room. But as students, we can’t afford to pay lots of money for the Brain juice. So, here is a little secret: there are two places on campus, where you can get the cheapest coffee. One of them is the vending machine at the Language Building, where you get your coffee for 50p. However, if you are not a fan of vending machine coffee and happen to have more time you can head to the common room at the Maths Building, where you can get a cup of coffee for 30p. The catch is you need to have a friend who has an access to the common room at Maths Building, so why not head there tomorrow morning and befriend those Stats and Maths students!
7.Umbrellas vs Raincoats
Last but not least, it won’t be a post about studying in Glasgow If I don’t mention the weather. The rainy days are yet to come, so my advice is don’t bring an umbrella with you. You may think that I am crazy, but try holding to an umbrella with that wind blowing towards you. By the time you get to your place, you will not only be wet, but also you will have one umbrella less. So, instead of spending £15 on umbrellas every week, why don't you get a raincoat. For those of you who like to get the rainy days fashion - buy wellies.
So, did you find this useful? Let me know in the comments section and stay tuned, there is more to come!
P.S. Don't Read This
A girl from Bulgaria, travelling around Europe and sharing her travelling experiences! Currently living in Scotland.