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How to get the most out of university(9 Posts)
DD has a place (post grades) at what ended up being her first choice university after really disliking the whole Oxford setup at interview, to study English Literature and I'm wondering how to advise her so she can make the most, both socially, academically and with regard to the looming career prospects. I don't really know much about universities so any advise would really be appreciated, I wouldn't want her to miss out because she wasn't sure what to look for
I wouldn't worry too much about careers at this stage. It is perfectly possible she will grow and learn about all sorts of things she hasn't considered yet. All sorts of circumstances might also come in to play.
Obviously she will do best to take work seriously and get the best degree she is capable of, but going to University is about much more than that. The skills and experiences she will gain whilst living away for the first time, working part time, mixing with all sorts of people who have different backgrounds from herself will really help her to grow as a person and become a much more attractive prospect as an employee than she is now.
Socially - I advised mine to go out and try all sorts of things they haven't done before (yes, I know - open to interpretation) - keep an open mind. Doesn't matter what you 'do', but 'do something'. You'll never have a time of your life when you have so much time that you have a choice over what you do with it - fill it with a combination of study, work and fun.
If she hasn't yet learned, then learn to drive (obviously working will be needed to fund that, but SUCH a valuable investment.)
In the first week, they will have Freshers Firs, with all the clubs and societies trying to sign up all the freshers to their groups - you can join there an then, or just collect the information to think about for a week or two, but most will have various events to attract people in to begin with.
Then the halls will all have parties and 'gatherings' where she will get to know people, and I think all (if not, then certainly 'most') Universities have various systems of peer mentors (or "hall parents") who are appointed to take the freshers round to various local haunts in the first few days. She won't need to 'look' far
I think, when she finds her feet, she will start to think about a career. When she has narrowed down what she is interested in, she can plan a strategy from there. Often y2 onwards. My DDs found talking to friends who were also thinking about careers pointed them in the right direction. They learn about careers and what they need to do together!
In the meantime, do as well academically as she can, join clubs and societies that are of interest and do some work experience in the holidays. This also should be geared towards a career later in the degree.
By looking at it from the opposite point of view. You get back what you put in.
Don't be a helicopter parent and let her work this stuff out for herself.
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Academically - attend, engage. Keep on top of things.
Socially - do as many different things and talk to as many different people as she can.
Become more independent and rely less on parents (sorry OP).
She'll be fine.
I haven't advised my dd because she needs to find her own way. I'm at the end of the phone but don't get involved. She's worked out for herself that she needs to stay on top of work, find her 'people' and become independent.
.. a lesson learnt from my DS who is in 2nd year is that you do need to worry about careers at this stage.
You mightn't need to be firm on what exact role / job you want to do - but you absolutely need to be building a CV towards making job applications.
Look at summer work experience now ( though most will be closing applications soon) if shes thinking of working in a mainstream industry like consulting etc.
DS is now applying for year out and lack of solid work experience in his chosen field is impacting him - decent roles are massively competitive and work experience and a good CV with leadership skills is key.
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