First of all, congratulations to everyone due to start university in September, your hard work has paid off! When I first started university I wasn’t too sure what I was getting myself into, and having just finished my first year and reflecting upon it there’s definitely some tips I wish I would have had when starting.
Get stuck in
One of the things I wish I did when I started university was to get stuck in and meet people. I was so shy and hesitant to speak to anyone but it’s really important to. There’s so many freshers events wherever you are studying so try to go to a few! Join societies too, that way you can meet people with the some similar interests and hobbies.
Whether you have a student maintenance loan, a job with regular income, whatever your situation is with your money it’s important to budget it. Create some sort of spreadsheet or download an app which will help you track your outgoings every month.
Put yourself first
This is so important but starting university is a new chapter in your life, and you’re doing it for yourself. Attend the university you want to attend to, stay in the accommodation you want to stay in and just do what you want. This is your future so you can’t let people dictate what’s going to happen to it.
The dreaded freshers flu is real, and it’s horrific. Be prepared for the entire lecture hall coughing and sneezing for the first few weeks. Stock up on the essential medicines you’ll need and power through, making sure you attend as much university as possible.
University is pretty much busy from the get go, so get yourself a diary or a calendar and make sure you have your schedule organised. Note down your deadlines and make sure you give yourself some time to go over your work.
This is something I was awful with in first year as our lectures weren’t ‘compulsory’ and no one knew if we were there or not. However, I did thoroughly regret this when it came to catching up with the lectures at home and revising the content. It’ll be so much easier to revise the content if you were in the lecture when it was being explained.
One of the best things about university is the opportunities that come with it, and everyone should jump at them. From volunteering, work experience, insights, research placements, sandwich years, being a student representative, getting involved with societies and other extra-curriculum activities, the opportunities really are endless.
Whilst your grades in first year don’t “officially” count towards your overall grade, they’re there and can be seen. If you want to do something in your degree like a research placement then they’re going to look at these grades as a reference. It’s important to do your best in first year to prepare yourself for the rest of your years at university. Also don’t be disheartened if you don’t get 70-80% on assessments, it’s much harder.
Remember if you do have any problems or you’re feeling under the weather your university will have someone you can talk to. Student support and wellbeing services can help you with anything from money, careers, counselling, disabilities, etc. It’s important to talk to someone about any problems you may be having.
Don’t be fooled and purchase loads of textbooks before you arrive at university. You’ll receive a reading list once you are there and most of the textbooks you can lend from the library as you find you’ll only need them for a short amount of time. It really isn’t worth wasting money!
Hopefully these tips will help some of you who’ll be starting university in September. Good luck!