There’s nothing more nerve-racking than waking up on the morning of results day, feeling as if your whole future depends on the outcome of that one day. If you are reading this, the chances are that dreaded brown envelope contained good news, and now in just a few short weeks, you’ll be coming to the University of Warwick to study Biomedical Science. You have a lot of preparation to do, much of which will involve trips to Ikea to buy kitchen utensils you never knew you needed. However, there are also things you can do to get ready for the academic side of university. So, here is everything I wish someone had told me before I arrived for my first year.
In lectures, information is going to be coming hard and fast. Taking notes (or even following what on earth is going on) can be very difficult at first. My advice is to practice taking notes from verbal presentations before you arrive. Find the formatting and abbreviations that work for you. Online lectures and talks such as TedTalks on biomedical science worked well for me. You can find a list of the core modules you will take on the university website. It’s a good idea to take a look at these and set up the folders/notebooks you want to use for each. Having all your stationery ready means one less thing to organise when you arrive.
Taking notes (or even following what on earth is going on) can be very difficult at first
Before you arrive, you will be emailed a link to an online resource to prepare you for labs. It includes videos that explain basic lab techniques and skills you will need in your first year. Whilst you might not want to watch all of them from beginning to end (some of them are a bit lengthy), it’s very helpful to familiarise yourself with the skills mentioned as it really takes the pressure off the first time you’re in the lab.
The Biomedical Science course at Warwick uses the “throw you in at the deep end” tactic when it comes to your first couple of weeks. Stay calm and you can nail it. One of the first things you will be asked to do is to memorise all 20 amino acids. You will need to know the structure, names, abbreviations and chemical properties of all of them. Don’t panic, there are plenty of helpful resources to make this easier!
The Biomedical Science course at Warwick uses the “throw you in at the deep end” tactic when it comes to your first couple of weeks
Finally, there are some specific things you can revise from your A Levels. Having a good understanding of key concepts means lecture material will be easier to digest. Here’s a list of things I think it is helpful to be familiar with:
- Prokaryotic/eukaryotic cells
- DNA replication
- Transcription and translation
- Electrical and physical structure/activity of the heart.
- The immune system
- Nerve cells and action potentials
I hope this has helped you to feel a little less in the dark about what to expect at the start of your degree. But most of all, I encourage you to make the most your summer, and prepare for what I’m sure will be an amazing few years at Warwick. Good luck!