Hello, I’m JJ, and I’m a second-year mathematics student! Starting university is a big adjustment, so in this blog I will highlight the best things about studying maths at York. This includes the support available to enable you to be a happy, thriving maths student!
As you know, there are times when we get stuck doing our independent maths work. This could be an exercise that we can’t answer or a part of a topic that you can’t wrap your head around. The best advice you can get is from your teacher or a fellow student who knows what you’re learning. You shouldn’t be struggling alone!
For each of the modules you study, there are online forums where students can post questions about that module. You can even post them anonymously if you feel more comfortable doing so!
The lecturer can then comment on your post to answer this question, or another student might be able to help you out as they can comment too!
I think that the forums are incredibly useful even without posting your own question, as someone may ask a question about a section you are struggling with also. Even if you are confident in a module, the replies from the lecturer may be helpful towards you getting an even better understanding.
These forums have a consistent flow of daily new questions posted, and answered very quickly too! Also, whenever the lecturer has new or important information for students, they post it as an announcement for everyone to see. When there is a new forum post or announcement, you get an email, so you are very much kept in the loop!
Lecture and seminar atmosphere
(This is my experience of second year lectures. I did not have any in-person lectures during my first year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.)
I can imagine that lectures, where you’re sat listening and taking notes for an hour, may seem like they are very intense, but I assure you that is not the case.
Even sat in a lecture theatre of 200 people, everyone is taking notes and engaged in what the lecturer is explaining.
I feel that the atmosphere is focused but not always too serious. In my opinion, this works well, and I have never experienced a boring or uncomfortable lecture. The lecturer continuously reminds everyone that you can shout out if you do have a question you want to ask.
There are approximately 10 students in my seminars. The atmosphere is the same, but there’s the opportunity to ask more questions and speak to peers about the work.
My favourite part of studying maths at York is probably the campus scenery. The rooms I study in are in different locations around campus, so I enjoy walking through the campus. Handily, the rooms are all close by and never more than a five-minute walk away from each other.
This definitely gets me in a better mood for my lectures, as it makes me feel grateful for where I am. Also, its nice not to be in the same place/area all day with little movement. Even on days when I’m only in one area of campus, it’s nice to take a break and walk to a nearby café or study space.
Mathematics Society and additional support
If you want to get more involved in the mathematics community, there is Mathematics Society! Weekly they have a session called ‘Cake and Calculus’ where maths students come together to do work. Yes, there is free cake!
Here you can do work in a relaxed environment of hard-working students, all with the same passion for studying maths as you. If you want advice from anyone, there are plenty of people there who can help you out.
Mathematics Society also host a variety of social events. These are a perfect excuse for a study break and to get to know fellow maths students!
As a maths student, you receive lots of emails from staff. These include opportunities and events, important information and welfare resources. These are really useful, as their aim is for you to succeed and stay happy and healthy!