If you have just been accepted onto the Social work degree at York and are starting in September then you are probably wondering what life for you will be like come September. What will my timetable look like? What are the assignments like? Will I still have time to go out and be a “normal” student? Well I hope to answer these questions now!
Depending on your age and whether you are living in halls or not will contribute massively to your life as a Social Work student. If you are 18 and just out of college and are living in halls then you will find that in the first year your timetable will be a little bit more intense than some of your flat mates. First year Social Work students tend to have about 20+ hours contact time a week. This may seem like a lot but just think you are paying £9000 a year so you are getting your money’s worth. Do not worry though as being a Social Work student and having a normal student life is perfectly do-able (I managed!) The trick is balance and looking ahead. If you know that Thursdays are a really busy day for you lecture-wise then try and avoid going out on the Wednesday night and choose another night of the week to go out instead (and remember there is always Friday nights) The difference between being a Social Work student and a student doing another degree is that we are literally doing a degree to get a career straight away; other people (not all) just do a degree to have the experience of university. If you are super-human then you will be able to go out every night of the week, join loads of societies and attend all your seminars and lectures hangover free and get firsts in all assignments… But remember the reason why you are doing a Social Work degree in the first place!
There are quite a few assignments in first year plus a law exam; get these done to the best of your ability and second year will seem like a lovely surprise when there are only 4 assignments to do (although the content has to be more in-depth) A great tool that I and many other students use when writing essays is the RefME tool. Referencing was the hardest thing I found in first year to learn to do and surprisingly you do get marked on it.
Sometimes on your timetable there will be big gaps throughout the day between lectures – my advice for this is stick with your friends on the course, go get some lunch and discuss what you have been learning. You will need a lot of food and snacks for the all brainpower social work lectures involve!
All in all the first year Social Work timetable is a busy but fun one; your brain will be stretched and you will learn amazing and shocking things that will all be relevant for your second and third year on the course, plus your future career as a social worker.
This quote about what it’s going to mean when I get my degree and become a social worker kept me going through my first year when I wanted to be out clubbing every night with everyone else! I also used it in a creative presentation that you give in first year…