To help you overcome any challenges which may come your way, Megan (BSc, Psychology) has put together a helpful list of tips to make the university transition easier.
Starting university can feel like a rollercoaster. On one hand, you are about to have an amazing experience, delve deeper into a subject you’re passionate about and meet many new friends. On the other hand, it’s probably the first time you’ve lived away from home and you may feel nervous about what’s to come.
Even though you may not want to, you do need to clean from time to time! If you avoid this too much, your house will end up looking like a rubbish tip and having guests round will become an awful experience. It’s important to remember to do simple things, for instance washing your bedsheets or washing up after dinner.
The best way to crack on with the cleaning is to put on some music or a podcast and have a laugh with it. The more enjoyable the experience, the more you’ll clean up any mess!
Though it may be tempting to “fall” into Domino’s and get a large meateor pizza, it’s not good to get into the habit of it. Takeaways and eating out should be a treat rather than a regular thing!
This doesn’t mean you have to become a five-star chef to provide yourself with healthy meals. Surprisingly, it isn’t hard to eat healthily at university. You can simply learn the basics of cooking and learn how to make a few different meals.
You can find a bunch of student-friendly recipes online to get you started.
A tip you’ve probably heard a thousand times – manage your time well! If you’re living away from home, you become reliant on your own time management skills. No longer will you be woken up by another person for that important appointment – it’s time to set alarms!
Seriously though, keeping track of what you’re meant to be doing and when is essential.
You don’t want to miss important lectures or meetings with your tutor. You can keep track of your time by setting alarms, marking your calendars, and/or keeping a diary.
If you’re going to university in a completely new part of the country (or even abroad), it’s very likely you won’t know anyone. This can be scary, but don’t let it get in the way of you making new friends.
Firstly, it’s important to remember that most people are in the same position as you! The people at your university could be from anywhere and are just as likely to not know anyone. Remembering this can help you throw yourself in and make talking to new people a lot easier.
University is a very exciting time - you’re meeting new friends in a new place and there are exciting experiences everywhere. However, sometimes it can be easy to get carried away. The key is to create a good balance between work and fun.
This is likely to be one of the first times you’re in charge of your own finances.
Therefore, to avoid being forever strapped for cash you should take the time to work out a budget. You can do this by writing down your incoming and outgoing money or by downloading a budgeting app.
It’s important to take care of your health whilst at university. By taking proper care of yourself you will feel much better daily.
It’s a great idea to designate a certain time to exercise each day. It could be as simple as going on a 20-minute walk or going to the gym before lectures start. Either way by fitting in some time for exercise you will feel refreshed and ready for the day.
Getting a good rest, eating well and drinking plenty of water will help you too! And don’t forget to sign up for the doctor and dentist in your new university town, so there’s instant help if you ever need it.
It’s important to know the safety and emergency procedures when moving somewhere new. From knowing where the fire exits are in your new house, to knowing who to contact in an emergency, it’s all-important information.
Get to know these procedures so that if you do find yourself in an unsafe situation, you can get help.
This goes for all areas of life – if you do find yourself struggling, reach out. If you’re struggling with the workload from your course, speak to your tutor or module leader. They were once students too so can likely relate to the stress you may be feeling.
Remember, if you’re worried about finances, universities often offer a range of bursaries or scholarships to help students who are struggling financially. If you think you’d be a candidate for one of these, contact Student Services and they should be able to help.
Many universities offer research programmes in which you can work alongside lecturers on their projects. This is great experience for the future and can be great fun when you’re studying a subject you’re interested in. As well as academic opportunities, make sure to throw yourself into everyday opportunities too. Take advantage of that free Zumba class and have a go at rock climbing. You can meet some amazing people whilst taking part of these activities and find something which you’re passionate about.
And above all, remember to have fun!