As September draws to a close, most students have started their new academic year. They have been seen off by their parents, settle down into new digs and start one of the most important phases of their adult lives. These new students have either experienced or are experiencing Freshers” Week and once the “festivities” come to an end, they will face the challenge of navigating a new environment, new professors and lecturers and of course a new way of learning.
Everyone assumes that students, young adults are capable of managing their own learning. Not so. Up until the age of 18 they have experienced every kind of support possible; orientation evenings for pupils at every stage of their school career, even parents are provided with an induction to GCSEs and A levels.
As these young adults venture out on their own, they face a different style of teaching which means they must adapt to a different way of learning. No more spoon feeding. And its quite a culture shock because often the “contact” time is very low, lecture halls most definitely have more than 30 people present and the lecturer and professor will leave eveyone to their own devices.
So what should these novice students focus on?
1. Find out the style of learning that suits you best and do so quickly. Be sure to make the most of lectures and tutorials.
2. Post It Notes, Highlighters, Note Pads and Technology will be your weapons of choice. You will be taking in an awful lot of information. Read a lot. Listen a lot. Chunk down the information. And practice recalling it.
3. Stay focused. A levels will become a distant memory. You will either stay the course or give up. This is about you and not anyone else. Everyone wants to party and have fun, no one wants to fail. A good degree will open doors.
4. Make the most of the resources around you; univeristies and colleges can be compared to businesses and they want to attract students from all over the World, not just from the UK. The facilities available to you now won’t be available to you in 3 or 4 years time. From technology suites to libraries, sports facilities and discounts on EVERYTHING, there is no better time to be a student.
5. Ask for help. Not everyone finds college or university life smooth sailing. The whole experepience of this new life can be quite daunting. Do not be afraid of seeking help from tutors and counsellors. No one is expecting miracles, t ake time to navigate this period of transition – it should be fun.
Being an adult learner is not always straightforward. Our BTEC learners are ALL working full-time and studying part-time. They are super driven and very motivated. For example, Nicola is Manging Director of a Letting Agency in the South West; she is a mum to her son and works full-time. She has just started the BTEC Professional Diploma in Residential letting & Management – Level 4. She has approximately 2 years of study ahead of her. She is very excited about this new venture and said that for every assignment she completes and passes, she will treat herself to something fun – something for herself, because she knows that this is a huge undertaking.
Nicola’s strategy is a positive one; her goal is to complete the course and go on to study for a degree. Her approach is commendable and we are so pleased that she has a determinaed approach to what she is taking on.