Starting uni can be quite daunting, everything is new, and you don’t know what to expect. Although it is a fun adventure, there are times you might feel alone and quite lost. Having been through that I decided to compile a list of a few things I wish I knew in my first year.
I thought I would start with the usual ‘Everyone is on the same boat as you’ and ‘Everyone is looking to make friends.’
But while that is true and everyone truly is looking to make friends, I am sure it is something you have all heard about 500 times.
So instead the first piece of advice I will give you is:
I would like to start this by emphasising that I was not paid by Newcastle University to shower them with compliments here. This is me genuinely sharing my experience of studying the BSc Biomedical Genetics (Hons) at Newcastle as an international student.
I chose Newcastle as it was the best affordable university/city to study medical genetics with the centre for life and northern genetics hub located there, and I had been fascinated by some of their published research. On my first visit to the city, I found Newcastle very green, friendly, and peaceful. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice ‘Geordies’ were, and I am proud to call myself an ‘honorary Geordie’ now as a graduate.
As a prospective or 1st year student, or even a 2nd year who’s had the joy of online teaching for the majority of your university experience, then this post is for you! With the help of some friends and fellow blog interns, I’ve come up with a few of the best study spots in Newcastle. Whilst you may have heard of some of these, there are some hidden gems that I’ve discovered that I’m kindly sharing with the rest of the student cohort…so please don’t swarm my favourite study spots all at once!
It is very normal to feel homesick after being away from home for quite a long time. We miss our parents’ home-cooked meals, our never-ending quarrels with our siblings, our childhood best friends, the celebrations with our large families and friends, the happiness, the bickering, and the feeling of being at home. And here we are, in a new place and environment, trying to adapt and make new friends while also pursuing our education, goals, and dreams.
If you live in or near Newcastle, you are lucky! It is easier for you to go back home or for your parents to visit you. However, if you are an international student like me, who spends a day or two traveling by plane to get to Newcastle, going back home is complicated, especially during the pandemic because the rules for traveling to the UK and our home country are constantly changing.
If you are not returning home, remember to call your family frequently and spend time bonding with them. But if you aren’t going back, here are some ideas you can do if you aren’t going home for the holidays and some things you should do if you are.
We can all agree it’s been an eggs-hausting term (brace yourself, I have so many egg puns it’s not even bunny!), but we’ve made it through the dark winter mornings and January blues, and Easter is finally in sight! Some of you might be desperate for this break, I for sure am, and some of you might be desperate for a month of exam prep and catching up on lectures…but it’ll come as no surprise to you that I am once again preaching about balance!
As students, we’re all striving for the balance between work time and down time. However, many of us fall into the procrastination cycle where your down time is seemingly fighting head on with your work time. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Your hobbies and work schedule can coincide synergistically, resulting in a happier, less stressed version of you. In this blog post I’m going to outline a few tips to help set yourself up for success with a foundation of healthy habits, and to make more time for the things that are important to you.
One of the most exciting, or perhaps daunting – depends on your perspective, parts of moving away from home, is that you can eat whatever, and whenever, you want. Now, I understand that the freedom to eat chicken dippers and potato waffles every day may be very appealing to you, however, with this freedom comes great responsibility…to keep yourself healthy!
Exams are coming up soon, have you started studying yet?
If you have, great! Keep up the good work! However, if you haven’t (like most of us), below are a few tips to help you get started. I suggest you should start studying now. Believe me, you won’t be able to cover all the lectures if you don’t start now.
“Study for knowledge, not for marks. If you have the knowledge, you will get the marks“
– Khursed Batliwala.
This is a good quote highlighting that studying should be enjoyable and that this knowledge will serve as a solid foundation for your next step in life. This knowledge will serve as a solid foundation for your next step in life. That is why it is important to study not only for exams but throughout your modules.
Picture this, it’s 6pm on a Thursday, you’re just back from a long day of lectures, you’re hangry as hell and those birds-eye potato waffles are calling your name…but trust me, there is a whole world of foods and flavours at your disposal if you just meal plan! As Iona Gannon, 2nd year nutrition student swears by, “an extra 30 minutes spent planning at the weekend will save you so much time and money, even just three speedy meals a week and you will thank yourself”. You never know, you might even be the next Gordan Ramsey, minus the raging temper hopefully!
That’s how I would describe my experience transitioning to Newcastle University from NUMed. Life is pretty similar; people are friendly, the teaching is amazing, the city is as beautiful as home. The only difference is that these things are all bigger, bolder, and brighter here in the U.K. And I’m definitely not complaining!
The move from Malaysia was definitely a tough one. I grew up in Penang, an island just northwest off mainland Malaysia, and this was the only home I’d known. Moving 10-hours away to Johor to start my degree in Biomedical Sciences was scary enough, but NUMed turned to be a home away from home. We’re such a small, tight-knitted community, and on campus we could bond in ways students in a larger university wouldn’t be able to.
“Choosing to begin my studies at NUMed has been the best decision I’ve ever made!”