How to survive First Year as a History Student

Here is an ABC guide on how to survive being a History student.


The complete guide on how to nail your History degree…

Ask questions

A brilliant historian knows to question everything! From the lecturer, to the sources and even the books that you choose for your essays. Ask the sources questions like: who, what, when, where and how. Before you begin to read any journal or book, have specific questions in mind and whilst you read, hunt for the answers to these questions- read with a purpose.

Books, books and more books

To be a good historian you must be a good researcher and as a rule of thumb; there is no limit to the number of books you should read for an essay, the more the merrier! However, don’t just limit yourself to just books, read journals, watch documentaries, be creative.

Creativity is key

Having a creative flair separates those who get Firsts from those who get a 2:1. For every single piece of coursework aim to be unique in your thought process. You do this by asking questions, reading different books, journals and watching documentaries which all help to broaden your understanding. The more you know the more you can play with.

Don't ever leave your essay to the last minute (trust me)

Never give yourself 24 hours to do a 1500- word essay or even 500- words. If you want a 2:1 then you should start your essays no later than a week before. This gives you time to research, to refine and to reflect upon what you have written.

Essay friendly environment

Creating an essay friendly environment is vital! Make yourself comfortable, wear your cosiest clothes, make a cup of hot cocoa, have snacks nearby because coursework and exam seasons can get very stressful!

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Free time = have fun

The best way to survive First Year as a History student is to have fun. Between the readings, coursework, and exam seasons, utilise the time spared to get involved in sports, societies, socials, and shopping. Make friends with other members of your course, and think of free time as a refresh button and essential in your quest to survive First Year as a History student.

So there you have it, the actual helpful guide to get you through First Year.