In series of blog posts, final-year students share their top tips for studying English at Bolton and enjoying your first year at University.

This is Cara, with her advice for first year students.

Firstly, well done! You did it! All of your hard work has paid off and you are finally here! Welcome.

Your first year is the time for you to explore, try new things, and think about literature in a whole new way (well, at least I did). Having just completed my second year it is a good time to pass on a little advice and some helpful tips I’ve picked up along the way.

Every student is unique and at the University of Bolton, you are a person not just a number; not a face in a crowd of hundreds, which is great. So, get ready to be creative: think outside the box and explore the great literature that you never knew existed.

Let's get the obvious out of the way...

  • Attend your lectures. Put simply if you don’t attend you will struggle when the assignments are due, and if you can’t attend, do let your tutors know.
  • Communication is key at university, so ask questions of your tutors and if you’re not comfortable speaking in class, talk to your lecturers privately. The classes on the English course are relatively small, though,  so you get to know each other quickly. This has made me comfortable sharing my thoughts in front of the other students. No daunting lecture halls here!
  • Get involved. There are lots of societies with the Student Union and you can even establish your own if you have a good idea. The sports teams at Bolton One also present great opportunities to meet other students.
  • Use the careers service. The careers team helped me make my CV job ready, and I was given helpful tips on applications and interviews. If you want to take this further, sign up for the Bolton Award, run by the University: it’s a programme that gets you thinking about your future and what you need to achieve your career goals. I am now more aware of careers and opportunities which I had not considered before I began my studies at Bolton.

My first year prepared me for the rest of my degree. It’s an important time and enables you to settle in to University life. Use the time wisely – read, ask questions, and enjoy yourself. You’re here because you love literature, just as I do. Books have always been a huge part of my life and I feel privileged to study and explore various types of literature.

I hope to turn my passion into a career and with the English department at Bolton University, I hope to turn my dreams to reality… someday.

Cara Bradbury

Cara is a final year English BA (Hons) student