Enrolling is a little bit like the “last hurrah” of all the organisation, because when you’ve done this, it’s completely 100%, no-going-back, set in stone, official. You’re a uni student.
It’s one of those official things that you have to do when you’re accepted onto a course at any university. One of the boring bits, if you like, that just has to be done. Now I look back, I feel like I pretty much floated through this whole process. I didn’t think about it much, but that’s partly because I didn’t have time to think about it. I’d just come in through Clearing; I was sorting out how I was going to travel to and from the place every day; I was still coming to terms with the fact that I’d changed my whole outlook on the future in the space of 0.393 of a second… So you can understand that I was a bit overwhelmed.
I’m writing this post for all of you who may be in the same position. Whether you came through the main cycle or through Clearing, you’re all in the same boat now. You’re all about to embark on a journey that will change or determine your life in some way, so here are a few tips to help you through:
1) Note down all login details. I feel like I might have mentioned something like this before. But just in case I haven’t, please keep a note of your username and password so you don’t have to go through the whole malarkey of emailing IT Services: blah, blah, forgotten password link, blah.
2) The “optional” modules aren’t actually optional. I misunderstood this and ended up only registering for about two, when in fact, I had to make sure that all the points added up to 120 credits. So imagine my face when I walked in, acting all smug because I was only going to be in university two days a week, only to be told that nope, I still had to register for more modules – it was just that “optional” meant I got to choose these ones (as opposed to only registering for the couple of mandatory ones). Try not to make the same mistake!
3) Read through the module descriptions more than once. You want to make the right choices for your first year. You want to enjoy them. You want to feel as though you’re getting something valuable out of them. Not only this, your first year will set you up for both your second and your third (maybe your fourth, depending on the course). This is the time that you’ll get to know what kind of university student you are: how you study, where you prefer to study, how much you study, what you enjoy studying. Did I mention that it’s all about thestudy?
4) I urge you not to choose a module just because it says: “100% coursework”.Don’t worry, I know what it feels like to be standing outside an exam hall hopping from one foot to the other, pens slipping out of your hands because your palms are sweating. But please, please, please understand that exams and coursework are just as important as each other. They’re just two different forms of assessment, that’s it. Both require the exact same amount of time and commitment. I’m sorry! I know I sound ridiculously teacher-ish at the moment, but it’s true. I’ve experienced it. I’ve made the mistake and I’ve learned from it. This is wisdom talking
5) Be ambitious, but don’t forget the type of person you are. If you’re studying English and yet loathe reading, it might not be the best idea to choose the module that requires you to read two novels a week. Same goes for different courses. Do what you enjoy. Do push yourself. But at the same time, make sure it suits you, and make sure you can handle it. This is your first year and so you’ll still be figuring it out, but don’t just pick the first option. Explore others. (How cheesy does that sound?!)
6) Don’t leave it until the last minute. The majority of you can start enrolling today, so get in there sharpish. Make sure you’ve got time to read the descriptions carefully and take your time picking the things you know you’ll love. This is the same for Add+Vantage (employability enhancing) modules. If you want first dibs, get in line.
Finally, and this isn’t really an enrolment tip, but just some general advice: don’t listen to people when they say that your first year doesn’t count. Picture this for a minute: a group of tutors and moderators sitting around a table, discussing your final grade…
Tutor: This student absolutely deserves a First Class degree. He’s been committed, enthusiastic, tries hard and did amazingly well during his second year.
Moderator: But his final year grades aren’t as good. I agree that he should get at least Upper Second Class, but not First.
Tutor: In that case, let’s take a look at how he did during his first year to give us a bit more of an insight as to what kind of a student he is.
FYI, it won’t always come down to this. When it comes to calculating your final grades, the computers do the work. But if there’s any kind of conflict regarding final individual module grades, this type of thing can occur, so keep that in mind.