Congratulations to Professor Frank Mort‘s group for winning the scavenger hunt during Welcome Week.

Your first year at University will in many ways be the most challenging during your time here, and yet at the same time it can often be the most rewarding! You most likely never have been, and never again will be, faced with so many new experiences, people and challenges. It can often feel pretty overwhelming, and yet the History Peer Mentor Scheme has been put in place to help you out during this time; you will always have an older student avail- able to answer any questions you may have throughout the year.

It’s now getting to the time when your lecturers will start talking to you about University assessments. I’d like to suggest a few tips that I wish someone had told me when my first University dead- line was looming. First off: don’t panic! Navigating the referencing system, using Turnitin on Blackboard, and any other systems you may be adjusting to can be stressful, but they will very quickly become second nature to you.

It could be worth your while to ask each lecturer if they look for anything specific in your work outside of the standard mark scheme. They are not always very clear about their personal preferences, which may be a focus on primary source material, or a particular historical debate. Make use of their office hours. Moreover, lis- ten to the feedback from your lecturers, as you never know what pearls of wisdom they may have that will help you during the rest of your time at Manchester.

Thirdly, there’s a reason why your first year of University doesn’t count towards your final degree: it gives you the chance to learn from your mistakes and to adjust to a completely new system of studying and assessment. Use this year wisely, and make the most of this opportunity to progress whilst you have a bit of a safety net.
Most importantly, however, don’t get too bogged down in your work; remember to enjoy yourself and make the most of your time here. You’ll be surprised how quickly it goes!

Again, if you have any questions, academic, social or otherwise, please contact your mentor(s): that’s what we’re here for!