Independent learning is a core part of University, but what does it actually mean? Independent learning means taking responsibility for your work as well as managing your own time, reflecting on how far you have come and being motivated to learn!
If you have come straight from a school or college environment, you might be used to more support from teachers who give you more direction with your work and this is not so much the case at University.
You may find University a bit of a culture shock (which is normal) because you will often be given information but then go on alone and research a certain subject further either in the library or in a practical setting. Your courses won’t always be similar- you could have a small cohort or large cohort; or have anything between 6 and 40 hours of lectures and seminars per week. Regardless of the differences though, there is much more expected of you at University as you progress to the second and final year. It is worth bearing in mind:
- Regardless of the size of your cohort, academic staff are not available 24/7 and you are expected to often find the answer yourself
- It is your responsibility to manage your time
- If you are falling behind do persevere, seek help and keep going to lectures and seminars that way you won’t feel isolated and get the help that you need
- There is always alternative help available in the University services, peer to peer and buddy schemes
- It is really important to engage with study skills (such as referencing, time management etc), they will come in useful throughout your time at Brunel