The key to getting a first at University: From those that have done it already!

Hello, Bonjour, Hola (and every other way of saying so) everyone, 

So today’s post is pretty self-explanatory from the title, its about attaining a first at university.

Getting a first can seem like a myth when you’re juggling all types of modules, trying to meet deadlines and facing a breakdown almost every week.. and with universities making it seem unattainable. As I am someone that has achieved a 2’1, I was curious as to how I personally could’ve achieved a first.. not like its going to help me now! This is why I interviewed four people from Westminster Business School and asked them about their journey. The four people I am focusing on are Azmina Begum, Ilir, Gashi, Lama Hamad and Durga Vekaria. (uh yes guys feel free to find them on social media, well just LinkedIn. This is my way of giving them credits). These four have not only achieved excellent grades but also in some way motivated me to do better because of their positive company, dedication and can-do attitude. In some way, all four of them have inspired me to do better throughout the past three years. A big thank you for letting me take some inspiration for this blog too.

Before we get into it, get to know the students:

  1. Ilir Gashi: He’s 21 years old, born in Albania. He moved to the UK when he was 1 and a half  years old. He’s extremely passionate about health and fitness and would like to start a blog relating to that.
  2. Lama Hamad: She’s from Qatar and has lived in the UK for 8 years. Her purpose of living in the UK was to complete her education. She aspires to become a photographer and in fact clicks meaningful images for her Instagram page.
  3. Durga Vekaria: A British Indian with a degree in Business and Management with Human Resources that would now wants to pursue a Masters.
  4. Azmina Begum: A British; born in the heart of of Chelsea, she is now qualified in HR with backgrounds in psychology, and aims to fulfill a career as a chartered HR practitioner or psychological route.

University journey is described as challenging and enriching. University isn’t a piece of cake folks especially when your eye is on that first.. may not be a piece of cake but has you stressed and comfort eating ALOT. The all-nighters, the energy drinks and coffee overdose, the seminars and lectures are exhausting, but they surely develop you.. fell asleep in a lot lectures because of all nighters but had to do all nighters because i fell asleep in the lecture before, i mean, its a vicious circle yeah!

I have focused on people that did courses in relation to business marketing/human resources. The courses involve a lot of critical thinking and imagination. In addition, one of the toughest challenges was group-work merely because it was time consuming. University practically forced to work with people.(IT’S A JOY TO WORK WITH ME THOUGH). If you happened to be the leader in the group then you’d definitely struggle because groups consists of lazy members, opinionated douche-bags (for those of you at the back, yeah, you douches) or even equally confused individuals.

Okay jokes aside.. lets get serious. So what skills do you need to thrive?

  1. Perseverance and determination: Will I be considered as lame if a used a quote? Well I’m going to go ahead anyway. “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back  Abraham Lincoln”. You need to be someone that does not quit even when times get tough. Learn from the failures and adapt yourself to be successful next time.
  2. Creativity: You need to think outside of the box and be different. Creativity will help set you and your work apart from the rest. Teachers don’t like seeing similar work from different people. Also on a side note, think of it this way when you get into the jobmarket you have to create a CV. Everyone says the same stuff yet they are expected to be different, expected to stand out. Creativity is key.
  3. Organisation: This involves time management and effective planning. You need to be strategic in managing your time wisely so equal attention can be given to each assignment to ensure your work is of a first-class standard. Starting as early as possible will reduce your stress dramatically (i mean you’ll learn soon enough, this doesn’t come to you straight away).
  4. Self-motivated and goal oriented: It’s important to constantly remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. When you’re struggling and finding these obstacles hard to overcome. You need to find the ultimate reason of why you’re doing something whether its influenced by extrinsic factors or intrinsic. For example, your family may be what motivates you like in Azmina’s case or you just wanting to prove your teacher wrong like in Lama’s case.. seriously reminding yourself of the goal and why?, can be the push and motivation you need.
  5. Communication: Without communication your ideas can’t be heard. It’s pretty obvious why communication is so important. (for the quiet ones at the back, voice your opinions too, surely there’s some good ideas behind your soft voices).

This is just the start, the most important part is still left (i sort of given you the dessert before the main course). The next blog post will be about the challenges Ilir, Lama, Azmina and Durga have faced, how they overcame these challenges and also the ADVICE they give to first years based on it.

So keep an eye on the next post guys, it’ll be worth it.. or maybe I’m getting you to do some reading to prep you for uni? I’m messing.. keep an eye out!


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