Starting university and moving away from home is one of the biggest steps a young adult has to make in their lives. As a second year student, I strongly recommend that you take on board these 10 things I’d now do differently before starting university. I wish someone had given me these tips before I started!
1. Get on Facebook
You may not realise it but Facebook is actually a new student’s most important tool. It’s imperative to your university social life that you get on Facebook and join the groups for your course and your accommodation. This gives you the chance to interact with people from your course and your new flatmates before even meeting them. It is a great feeling knowing that you already have friends when coming in to university life.
2. Forget the iron
It’s an unwritten rule that first years don’t iron. You’re never going to use it so just leave it at home and save carrying it.
3. Say yes
Do not turn down the opportunity to socialise with people during your first few weeks at university. Even if it’s something that seems boring to you or if it’s something that you wouldn’t normally do, say yes (as long as it’s safe)! Saying yes could lead to you having a great time with new friends and there’s not much that can beat that.
4. Research the course
This one is so important. You may find that when your course begins, some students drop out of your classes. This is because the course isn’t what they expected when they first decided to take it. So find out about your modules, lecturers and anything else you may think could affect your decision.
5. Join societies
Joining societies before university really kicks in is a great way to meet new people and take part in new and exciting activities. Societies also provide a great way to escape from study.
6. Get a job
If like me your student loan barely covers your rent, it’s important to get a job and get one early. Try and apply for jobs a few months before university starts so that you’re not fighting the rest of your fellow students for the same position.
7. Worry less
Everything always works out in the end and worrying will get you nowhere. Try to relax and things will eventually fall into place, however daunting university first seems. Remember that everyone is in the same boat as you coming into uni, as long as you are sociable and open to new experiences, you’ll be fine!
8. Learn how to reference
Referencing is a huge pain. However, it can make or break you when it comes to your assignments. Learn how to do it now and life will be a lot easier.
9. Make a study timetable
In the past you may have left your college or school assignments to the last minute. You can’t do that at university. Make sure you have plenty of time to do your work or face being a Redbull-fuelled library zombie with a rubbish grade.
10. Be realistic
University isn’t what it seems on TV. You’ll quickly find that it’s more, “who stole my milk?” than a blur of sex, drugs and partying. So no, you’re unlikely to act like an extra from Skins but that doesn’t mean that university won’t be the best experience of your life.