Hi guys! I haven’t done a blog post in so long, and since I’m now in my second year of university I thought it would be nice to do a university Q&A.
What advice would you give to someone trying to decide what course to study at university?
I changed my mind so many times with what course I wanted to do. I found that attending university open days really helped as you might see a degree you haven’t heard of before that does everything you’re interested in. Do your research, order prospectuses from various universities and look on their websites to see what courses they offer. If you go on the UCAS website you can find a whole list of courses just by searching a keyword. Make sure you look into the entry requirements, and also what they actually teach on the course! Most university websites will have a breakdown of each module and the weightings.
How is Cardiff University as a whole?
I honestly love where I study so much, and I’m so happy with my choice. I’m from an area surrounding Cardiff so I may be biased but I absolutely love Cardiff in general, nothing is ever too far away and you have access to everything (parks, shops, transport). The university is gorgeous, and there as so many societies, volunteering activities and other things you can get involved in. The lecturers are great and so helpful, and are always welcome to you asking questions and emailing them if you’re unsure. There’s also a great support network, with so many services to help out with anything (careers, finance, counselling, etc.). You’re also never too far away from a beach!
What advice would you give to a first year Biomedical Science student?
Throw yourself into university, take the opportunities you are given and keep on top of your work! Find the balance between having fun and getting as most as possible out of your degree. It’s really hard to catch up with work and assignments if you fall behind. Although first year doesn’t technically count, it’ll be on your academic record and used if you want to apply for any work experience, opportunities, etc.
How do you take notes at university?
Last year I typed up my notes on my laptop, and although I had all the information I needed and everything the lecturer was saying, I wasn’t actually listening in the lecturers. This year I’m using my iPad and annotating the powerpoint slides, it means I have the information already there and I just add any extra. I’ll then go home and write my neat fancy notes that you see on my Instagram which is basically all the information summarised in a way I can easily interpret it.
What module didn’t you get on with the most/struggled with?
In my first year I really struggled with a module called The Dynamic Cell (basically cell signalling, photosynthesis, bioenergetics) and this year I’ve taken Cell Biology as I just found it so fascinating. It’s one of the hardest and I definitely struggled with it the most, it was the exam I got the worst grade in last year. Trying to keep on top of the work this year and do extra reading to ensure I understand what I’m being taught!
How do you stay focused and motivated?
I go through phases where I have all the motivation in the world and then some days I can’t be bothered and I’ll just sit in bed and watch YouTube videos. If I really need to stay focused I’ll write a to do list so I can visually see everything I need to get done, then I’ll set myself some sort of reward if I get it all done. I mainly think about my future and how I need to put in the work to get the grades and get a good degree!
Any tips for time management?
Have a diary or a calendar whether that be a physical one or on your phone. It helps me so much to be able to see all the things that are happening on that day, in one place. Try writing to do lists and structure your time within them. Planning is key!
What placements are you looking into?
My university offer a professional training year, so I’ve been looking (and now have secured) a placement for this. It’s not compulsory but it’s so good to get the experience and it looks great on your CV. I’ve managed to secure one in a laboratory in a division of my local hospital, where I’ll be researching an area of interest into a specific virus! I was just looking for anything that corresponded with my areas of interest, and was in a laboratory so I could get that essential experience and improve my skills.
What are your plans with your degree after university?
Right now I’m still so unsure, and I’m doing a lot of work experience in 2020 to try and find out what I want to do. I’ll be doing work experience in a secondary school, volunteering in Fiji and also starting my placement year in 2020. I’m kind of leaning more towards teaching GCSE or A-Level but I’m so unsure still, which is perfectly okay!
Hopefully this Q&A was interesting to some of you! I’ll be back soon with another blog post 🙂