Insider's guide: alumni advice for new first year students

The Department of Philosophy welcomes the creative and the curious – people ready to take a critical look at philosophy. Our programmes cover core areas such as metaphysics, logic, epistemology and ethics, as well as the philosophy of science, medicine, and political philosophy. To give you a head start, we’ve put together some advice from our alumni about how to make the most of your first year at Kent!

What alumni would encourage all first year students to do in preparation for coming to University:

“Join your academic society! It’s the best way to connect with other people on your course early on and will give you an insight of what’s to come in your first year.”

“In preparation for university, I’d definitely advise checking that you know how to budget (and stick to it), and make sure you have your own bank account, a bi-weekly cash pack from your parents won’t help that much if you aren’t good with budgets!”

“Write up your lecture notes on the same day as the lecture, then fill in gaps by choosing from reading from the list your lecturer put together. It helped me understand a lot more that happened in class and my marks got better!”

“Get a laptop if you can. It changed my life when I didn’t have to wander around looking for a free computer to write my essays! The library lets you check them out too if you don’t have your own.”

“Check your Kent email regularly. Lots of really important information only comes by email.”

“Be prepared for just how little six hours per week in class is! Most of the work for your degree is done outside of class time. The more work you do outside of class, the more you’re going to get from those six hours.”

“Whilst it’s not a must, look up a couple of academic articles so you get a feel for what they’re like, and you don’t face your first seminar without a clue what you’re trying to read.”

“If you’re an eager beaver (not a must because none of the lecturers assume prior knowledge) you can read around the subject just to give you a basis, this will help you figure out quicker what you’re most interested in and make it easier to get inspiration for essays.”

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