The first week at uni can be quite overwhelming, starting with your first-ever lecture. If you’re starting your journey at King’s this year, you’ll find that lectures are a totally different teaching style to what you’re used to at college. But like most new experiences, being prepared is the key to avoiding stress. To help you get ready for your first lecture, we’ve written down the five most important things you should know:
1. Show up on time
This may seem like trivial advice, but you will soon realise there’s always one person who shows up to every lecture 30 minutes late with a Pret coffee as if nothing’s happening. Don’t be that person! Even if attendance isn’t recorded for your lecture, consistently showing up late will put you in the bad books with your lecturers and some of your classmates too, not to mention the fact that you will miss some crucial course information that isn’t on KEATS or Lecture Capture.
2. Typing or writing?
One of the biggest decisions you will need to make before your first lecture is whether you are bringing a laptop or a pen and notepad to take down notes. Don’t be fazed by the sea of MacBooks scrolling away on ASOS during your lecture – if you prefer to write your notes with a simple pen and paper, do your thing! Find out what works best for you, as whether you’re a typer or a writer, these notes are going to carry you and your grades throughout the year. Just remember: if you are writing, remember to bring spare pens and if you are typing, don’t forget to charge your laptop the night before.
3. Do your readings
I know sometimes academic readings can be really tedious and even intimidating, but it’s much better to attempt the readings than to show up to a lecture without having done the readings and sit there for an hour without understanding a single thing your lecturer is saying. Try to do your readings not just before your seminars, but before your lectures as well. You will be able to absorb the content a lot easier, have a rough understanding of the topic and feel more confident overall. Plus, when the time comes for assessments and exams, you’ll be extra prepared!
4. Don’t stress!
University lectures are a big step-up from school classes, so don’t worry if you’re feeling out of your element – everyone else will feel the same as you! The content in lectures is supposed to be challenging and difficult at times to inspire conversation and debate during seminars and tutorials. Don’t be scared to ask questions or talk to your lecturer afterward to clear up any confusion or problems you had with the content. It’s always better to ask questions during the lectures or office hours than to leave them for when assessments are looming!
5. Stick around and make some friends
Though lectures are primarily for learning – and you will learn a lot even in your first one - chat to everyone outside while waiting to go in and stick around at the end to chat to some of your classmates if you can. Especially in your first lecture, most people will be having the same experience as you, and it will be nice to know you’re not alone! If your classmates have a similar schedule to you, you might even end up grabbing a coffee or social study break after your lecture to de-stress and socialise.