A Letter To My College Self

Have you heard of Earnest? They are a super helpful company for helping students refinance their loans. The idea for today’s post was sparked by their mission to educate millennial for their financial future. You can see their website here.

In the UK college is not the same as college in the US, In the UK University is their version of college. College in the UK is education beyond the age of 16 up to 18, before you go to University. Having left college this June I wanted to share some advice I’d love to give my past self which may be helpful to anymore currently starting college/6th form or anyone currently hoping to progress to University.

To my college self,

Here are a selection of things I failed at that you definitely shouldn’t…

Tip #1 – Use your first year effectively!

College in the UK lasts 2 years. The new system means that any work done in the first year does not count towards the final grade, therefore most people either work too hard or take it too easy in the first year. I was the one who worked overly hard and was then a little defeated in year two when I was no longer on top of everything, there’s nothing wrong with working hard but I should have spent more time finessing my revision techniques as revision hit me hard in year two.

Tip #2 – Get all the help you can!

I was lucky enough to be very close and comfortable with my teachers. I got all of their emails and made sure to contact them for anything I was unsure about. They were always friendly and responded even during weekends and holidays. If your teachers don’t respond to emails just arrange a lunch or after hours to chat and get some personal help. I found it so helpful to get 24hr advice from them, especially during exam season.

Tip #3 – Begin your revision EARLY

Now people always tell you to start revising at 5/6 months before your exams, which doesn’t really work for most people because you know you have a lot of time to spare so you take a laid back approach, or at least I did. So I started doing lazy revision. 1 month before my exams I  realised I remembered none of this revision. My tip would be to start revising 3 months before exams and dedicate certain hours of your day to revision, for example I took myself to my local library 4 days a week (It’s closed the other 3) and did anything between 5-8 hours. This time slot motivated me to work hard because I knew I had a specific time to revise. DO NOT LEAVE IT TOO LATE! This may work for some people but leaving it to the day before is not worth your 2 years of education.

Tip #4 – Sacrifice full days out with your friends

This sounds harsh BUT I found that during the revision period I felt so guilty going out that I wouldn’t even enjoy myself. However, I didn’t feel guilty if I had revised during the day and then saw my friends in the evening. So until the end of exams (which isn’t that long, you’ll make up for it over summer) sacrifice those full days for just evenings or mornings!

Tip #5 – Do your Uni Research/Application PROPERLY

So I messed up my uni application and I regret it indefinitely! I was only ever told to apply for the best unis so I applied for all Russell Group universities which I later found is not that important! Please do not think it is! It is more important to apply to uni’s that have courses which modules you like, locations you like and a safe and welcoming atmosphere. I would recommend going to visit the uni’s if you can because that’s the only way you can effectively judge if you’re going to be happy somewhere.

Now I’m just playing the waiting game to see if I get into my chosen Uni. Then I need to start thinking about student bank accounts, accommodation, food and all those stressful things.

Speak Soon,

IronicJess xo


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