Things I would have wanted to know before starting Truro College

My name is Ellie Warnham and I am a first year student at Truro College studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business.

Going from being comfortable in a small secondary school where everyone knew everyone to Truro College was a big step. Luckily, I had siblings who had previously come to Truro College who could answer all the questions that I had. For those who are the older sibling or are just interested in a different perspective, here are a few things I wish I had thought of asking and things I have learned in the first term of being here.  

Working Hard in School

A good thing, to begin with, is working hard in school. If you work as hard as you can and achieve good GCSE results it will help for you in the future. One way that this will help is that if you decide that your chosen course is not for you, you will have the option to do any course that you want as you will have the required grades

Ellie did a week of work experience in the Publicity Department at Truro and Penwith College

Ellie Warnham, studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business at Truro College

Don't just follow your friends

Another thing regarding school is to make sure that you aren't just choosing a course or courses so that you can stay with your friends. This may mean you will be studying for something that you don't enjoy for two years, making it less likely that you will enjoy college and making it harder to motivate yourself. Yes, that's right, you have the responsibility of motivating yourself! With college, you have more freedom and are treated a lot differently than in school. As a student you are expected to work independently so lecturers will not push you to do work as it is seen as your responsibility. Though they want you to achieve the best grades you can and will help if you ask for it.  

Forming Relationships

The first day is daunting for anyone, one thing that I have learned is to try and make as many friends as possible, this will help in lessons and outside of lessons. If studying an extended diploma this is especially important as you will be spending a year or even two with the people in your group. Although it will be awkward at first, attempt to start conversations. Remember everyone is in the same boat! Another way to make friends is to throw yourself into opportunities such as academies, which will help you make even more friends and grow your confidence. 

Another important lesson I have learned is to form relationships with your lecturers, this will help you feel more comfortable if there is an issue. Both of these will help you enjoy college more. Try to stay in contact with old friends also, this will help as you can share views on making the transition from school to college. This could be done on the bus home as most are long journeys or even in frees that you have together, you could also work whilst you are catching up. 

Academies are a way of taking time to work on a particular area of interest.


Academies are timetabled around your full-time course so you will not have to worry about them interfering. If you are interested in signing up to an academy there is a good range of sporting, academic and artistic topics so you will definitely be able to find one that you would like to do, they are great if you aren’t studying sport and miss PE lessons at school for example. All academies are optional if you aren’t feeling up to it on the day, the Academic Academy is the only compulsory one (once you have decided to join) as it involves lectures.

Using your time effectively

Another tip I have is to use your time as effectively as you can. Do as much work as you can in your frees, this will mean you will not have as much work to do at home, helping you balance college and personal life. By using college time well you are then less likely to fall behind and if you are on top of work it is more likely that you will enjoy college. Another way to ensure you aren't going to fall behind is only skip lectures if it is truly required, then if you really do need to miss a lecture you will only be slightly behind. 

If you have chosen a diploma, working hard in the first year and achieving a good grade means that you can have some unit grades capped in the second year, meaning you will have less work to complete overall.

If you've chosen A-levels you are assessed at the end of the two years so there’s lots to remember, but as long as you begin with a positive attitude and start revising from the beginning you are giving yourself the best chance. 

Overall, just make sure you take care of yourself so the work that you do is the best you can. Now that I have been here for a term I have settled in and made friends within my class whilst staying in contact with my school friends and I am enjoying college.