Starting university can be daunting and starting a Pharmacy degree even more so. New people, a new subject and potentially a whole new city and life, can all seem overwhelming. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to make your first year easier. Soon you’ll learn that you are embarking on an interesting and fulfilling course and career.
Ask questions. There are many people who are willing to help: lecturers, students in other years and even your course mates. Struggling alone can make a problem seem a lot bigger than it is; by asking you can solve this quickly, put your mind at rest and focus on other things. Even if people can’t help, they can point you in the right direction.
Start early! Read over lectures and make sure they make sense, even the best students sometimes ‘zone out’ in lectures. A lot of things follow on from each other, assuring you understand the lectures you’ve had makes future ones easier, ultimately reducing your work load. Starting assignments and revision early makes you methodical and avoids the last-minute cram, reducing stress.
Being organised is exceptionally beneficial. Plan your day. When will you be working on assignments, revising and having down time? Effective time management will not only help you now but will also be a vital skill in your future career.
Talk to others. Sometimes it can feel like you are alone if you are finding things tough or don’t understand. By talking to other students both in your year and the years above, you’ll often find that people are feeling the same way.
Attend your lectures! It may seem obvious but it can be tempting to skip lectures when they are available online. The explanation and further input lecturers give is extremely beneficial. Your lecturers know what they are talking about and are often the top of their field, listening to them can provide much more knowledge than reading a PowerPoint alone.
Lastly, have fun! Pharmacy is a lot of hard work, but it’s also so rewarding. Find a work/life balance and run with it. Work hard, but remember to enjoy the course and university as a whole. The next four years provides you with a chance to grow both professionally and personally. You are becoming the pharmacists of the future. Have fun, and good luck!
Second year pharmacy student at Durham/Newcastle.