This time last year I was overwhelmed with both trepidation and excitement. I had chosen my university and the countdown had begun to my first day at Anglia Ruskin University.
As the first year went so fast, and with the added responsibility of placements in Year 2, I’ll be reflecting back on Year 2 and heading into Year 3 before I know it.
A couple of books that helped me with the transition to being a social work student in the first semester were, Values and Ethics in Social Work (Beckett & Maynard) and also Evidence-based Practice in Social Work (Mathews & Crawford). You will be given a reading list, so make the most of the library!
Time management is essential. Take into account all of your responsibilities such as home life, travelling to and from university, working, reading time, assignment preparation, and writing. It may take you time to find an even balance. For me in the first semester, I was totally out of my comfort zone. However, I found I became more organised as, with a very limited amount of time, I really had to prioritise my responsibilities.
Utilising resources available to you is the pinnacle in developing yourself as a student and a working professional. Individually, we are given a personal tutor, and the individual module tutors are accessible via email or one-to-one tutorials. I found that meeting as a group was more beneficial, as everyone brought different perspectives to discussions that I may not have considered previously.
Developing a good study group will help, as it allows group members to openly discuss and bring new ideas to the table before starting assignment writing.
Also, we have study coaches and supplementary classes available to us, which are a free resource at the university. Although you can manage to fit all your studies around your schedule, sometimes it can be difficult to fit all the lectures, assignments and presentations in, alongside various study classes. At these times I used email or arranged with my study group to see my study coach after lectures either as a group or individually. All this lead to my grades increasing by 10% by the latter part of the academic year.
I would definitely recommend you start looking at the SCIE, BASW, TCSW and Community Care webpages.
We attend because we want to learn, so enjoy the university and all the resources available to us as students.