Author: Jon Narcross

Top ten tips for starting Imperial

Wondering how to make the most of your first few weeks at the College? Current Imperial student Meriame Berboucha has written this great blog with her top ten tips.

Thinking about fresher’s fair in a few weeks time made me want to write a small blog post on a few tips that may help all you freshers out there.

Here’s my ten top tips:

1 Organisation is key

University is a very fast-paced academic environment so keeping well organised with a diary, or apps like Todoist, a to-do list making app, or other apps that can help plan your revision or study timetable will definitely help you to stay on top of the large workload.

2 Believe in yourself

When you get into university you’ll find people who are just as good as you and sometimes you can feel like you are not as good or clever as you were at school. Don’t take this to heart, you are still amazing it’s just that university is a new challenge to master and it will take time to adjust to the new way of learning.

3 Work together

Make new friends and work together – you are all in this together. Working with a group of friends gets problem sheets done in half the time and you’ll be able to learn and bounce ideas of each other – it’s a great way to learn without having the need to pluck the courage to ask a lecturer a question.

4 Talk to academic staff

If you can’t seem to get the answer to a problem sheet then pop in for a lecturer’s office hour and ask them a question. These one-to-one sessions can be very enlightening and you’ll be one step closer to acing those exams!

5 Relax and take time out for yourself

You can easily get caught up with the large workload and forget to take time out for yourself. Join clubs and societies, not only to meet new friends but to keep those stress levels at an all time low. Keep those school hobbies alive.

6 Remember everyone is in the same boat

If you find yourself finding things tough chances are a lot of people are feeling the same thing – university can be very tough but everyone is in the same boat. Speak to your friends and you’ll soon find that they are also feeling the same way as you – you’ll feel tonnes better after having a chat.

7 Keep motivated

When things get tough remember why you are doing a degree – whether you want to be the next new scientist, entertain the world, make people feel better or whatever it may be, keep imagining yourself fulfilling that dream and remember you can do anything you put your mind do. Hang on in there it always gets better.

8 Uni is very different to school

The learning environment at university is very different from school. You’ll be in a lecture theatre filled with hundreds of students and asking questions like you did in a school lesson with less than 30 students is completely different to asking a question in a full lecture theatre! You’ll have tutorials, laboratory sessions (if you’ve taken a course that requires you to do labs) and lectures. Tutorials feel a lot like being in school where you’ll have around 25 students in a class led by a lecturer (class sizes vary at different universities) and go through a set of problems and have a chance to discuss and ask questions relating to the lecture course. Labs is a chance for you to carry out experiments and solidify main concepts you have learnt – you’ll be in pairs so make sure you choose a partner you feel you can work with for a whole year. It will take time getting used to the new routine so don’t worry if you do feel a little overwhelmed with the change.

9 Speak out

If you do find things too tough, speak out. There are people at university like your personal tutor that can guide you in the right direction and offer you great advice.

10 Enjoy your degree

Enjoy every moment of your degree – you are learning new things and getting closer to your dream job. Enjoy all the opportunities that uni life provides you with.

My last words: Work hard, make time for yourself and fulfill your dreams.


You can read more of Meriame’s blogs on her website – All Things Science