Going to university is equally as exciting as it is terrifying. Moving on from compulsory education to study a subject that you are passionate about is a big adjustment. University culture is a world away from college or sixth form, and it is very understandable to be nervous or worried at first.
Adjusting to the changes can take some time, but as many past university students will be quick to say, your time at university can be the most enjoyable and rewarding of your life. To help you adjust quickly, and get over those initial nerves, our top 10 tips for students going to university is on hand to help.
Learn Your Way Around
Number one on our list is the one of the first challenges you’ll face at university. Universities are not known for being compact, and the likelihood is, the buildings you’ll need on a regular basis are going to be a fair distance away from each other. Spending time exploring the campus before you start, or when you arrive, can make the experience less terrifying when you need to find your lectures first thing in the morning.
Plan a Budget and Stick to It
For many students, the first time that they will really have to manage a budget is when they attend university. Student finance is notorious for not stretching as far as most students would like, which means a carefully planned budget is essential. Running out of money a few weeks after your student loan gets paid is certainly not ideal!
Only Look for a Job If You Can Manage It
It can be very tempting to apply for a job as soon as you start university, especially if your first attempt at budgeting hasn’t gone to plan. However, with the workload that university piles on, it can really be worth waiting until after the first semester. That way, you can get a feel for whether you’re going to have time for a full or part time job, and not stretch yourself too thin trying to do everything at once.
Learn How to Cook
Essential for saving money and eating well, learning to cook at university is a must. Learning some basic recipes that you can change and adapt to fit your budget can help you to decrease the cost of living. Not only does learning to cook save money, but it ensures that you get those essential nutrients required to stay focused on your studies.
Start Looking for Accommodation Early
Where you’re going to live after the first year at university is a topic that needs considering a lot earlier than many students expect. Just a few months into the first year, many students will already be organising where they are going to live and who they are going to live with.
In the long run, it pays to be a little selective about which property you pick, but with so many students looking, time is going to be of the essence. When viewing houses, consider the state of the property, location in relation to amenities and the university, and whether your potential house-mates will be a good fit.
Sign up to University Clubs and Societies
Making friends at university really enhances the experience and gives you a support system of other students who are going through the same thing as you are. Clubs and societies are the best way to meet people that share similar interests to you, and even head-hunt future house-mates. With some universities having tens of thousands of students, you should have no trouble meeting like-minded people.
Make Full Use of the University Facilities
Depending on which university you attend, there will be a wealth of facilities open to students. During your time at the university you will have free access to the majority of facilities, so it is definitely worth making full use of them. If in doubt, the library is always the best place to start!
Focus on Your Career Path
It can be easy to get swept up in the university experience and forget why you’re there in the first place. Along with the course you’re studying, there is likely to be additional support available to help you with your chosen career and job prospects.
Stay on Top of Your Workload
A common mistake that many university students make is thinking that they have plenty of free time. However, when assignments start becoming harder, and deadlines stricter, that extra night out or lazy day can quickly catch up on you. Staying on top of your workload can prevent all-nighters from being a regular occurrence.
Don’t Let the Experience Go to Waste
At the end of the day, university is a unique experience that should be enjoyed. While there may be lots of work and a strict budget to follow, you shouldn’t let the experience go to waste. With so many opportunities open to university students, making the most of your time will ensure you create lasting memories.