I am back after the summer holiday, ready to start my second year. Last week I met many freshmen, which made me remember my first day in the university. Happy, excited faces; and also insecure feelings. This is some guidance I took it from my own experiences and I hope it will be helpful to you!
Step 1: Don’t be afraid to ask
We are living in Spain and of course, at some point in the career, you will all speak Spanish. However, our university is international; most teachers and school staff, as well as Spanish students, are required to have at least a B1 level in English. The first week may be hard to get around but you are not alone. We have about 10 different venues and I am not surprised if you are lost somewhere. Even though you are at the right building, finding a specific room can be a challenge.
As far as I know, Spanish people are among the friendliest in Europe. It is quite easy to approach a stranger and in turn, most of the people would be enthusiastic to respond to your need.
Step 2: Remind yourself why you are here
I think this criterion is very important. Going to university is a big step for many students and it’s not easy as you thought. Many friends told me that when they were in high school, they wished to be done fast so they could go to university. Then they wished again to be back to high school time. Let me tell you why:
- Imagine, the amount of knowledge you learn in 3 years now it’s condensed in one semester!
- You don’t have a fixed timetable and especially for health science students, practicals will probably take away your free afternoon.
- No one will be able to keep an eye on you, by saying that I mean that you have to be responsible for your daily life.
For the first year, each student will have a tutor (a teacher that you can ask and share things that you feel like-treat him/her as your friend) but mostly is your decision to come to lectures regularly, as you know lectures are not compulsory.
My opinions are attend all the classes you have to, revise the content you have learned within 24 hours so it will not go out to the other ear. If you cannot concentrate at home, come to the library. It has quite large opening hours, and in exams period, 24/7. Therefore, I think every time you feel tired or desperate about an exam, just think again what goal do you want to achieve.
Step 3: Enjoy Valencia
Take a well-deserved break time if you have considered what I have just told you. On Saturday and Sunday, if you live in Moncada, Valencia will be a perfect not-too-far destination to relax from a hard studying week. Neighborhood areas such as Russafa, Benimaclet, El Carmen are waiting for you to discover its culture and gastronomy. Grab a map and go.
I often have cozy dinners with my friends, and after that, we were seeing football or movies together. Sometimes the clubs in Campus Life have many interesting activities that I recommend you to join so you will know buddies from other faculties.