Hello there! I’m Rebecca and I am a recent graduate from York St John University.
I finished studying English Language and Linguistics in May and I honestly miss it already. However, I haven’t quite parted with York St John just yet, I am currently working for the University as a graduate intern in International Recruitment and Marketing and am really enjoying my role.
I’m from Newcastle so York was great for me as it was away from home but still only an hour on the train, so I could pop home for my Sunday roasts if needed! I decided to go to university as I didn’t know what career I wanted to go into so knew that going to University would provide me with experience that not only boosts my employability but will help me decide which roles/careers I might enjoy!
Ok moving away from home to somewhere completely new does sound so daunting!! But everybody is in the same boat, everyone is just as nervous, excited and willing to make friends. Universities often promote facebook groups where you can find the people you will be living with, I did this and found my flatmates a couple of weeks before moving. Doing this just broke the ice a little bit before arriving! I would recommend doing this if you can, it also means you can coordinate on what to bring so you don’t all arrive with 5 toasters and kettles! I stayed in Baldwin House at The Grange which was a self-catered, shared bathroom flat with 5 other people. I know everyone’s preference when moving to uni is to have an ensuite, but it really didn’t bother me. Everyone has different schedules, there was a sink in our room, we had a split toilet and shower room, so I don’t think we had any clashes at all! I’d definitely consider this if you are looking to save a little bit of money, also when you find your own accommodation for 2nd and 3rd year, it is unlikely they will be ensuite!
In your first semester please don’t stress about achieving top grades in your assessments, especially when you’ve got so much going on like how to work the washing machine! Your first few essays may not be as highly graded as you’d like but this is completely normal as you are adapting to a new learning style. Reach out to your lecturers and ask for help, they are there to support you. I did this in my first year and the lecturer gave me a referencing guide that I stuck by through every essay during my time at York St John. Also look out for societies that are based around your course, not only is this a great way to meet people who enjoy the same subject you do, it’s a great opportunity to receive help from students in the years above you. They can offer advice and ideas that will help enhance your studies!
As a student I was part of the badminton club, tennis club and linguistics society! I’d really recommend joining a sports or society, even if you are just as unathletic as I am, it’s a great way to meet people, learn new skills and have a little bit of a break from the academic side of uni. They also hold lots of social events that run throughout the year which are so much fun! I’d also advise engaging in any volunteering or extracurricular opportunities that are of interest to you, the more you get involved in your uni experience the more you get out of it.
The careers team at York St John are also amazing, they can help you source part time jobs, they cover interview tips and cv help as well as finding a job after you graduate. I’d recommend going to see the careers team early in your first year to discuss possible career paths and opportunities, that way you can make the most out of your 3 years so you are ready for the next step afterward!
I know 3 years sounds long, but it really does fly by! Just enjoy your experience, throw yourself into lots of different things and have fun!