Starting university may be an emotional rollercoaster, with feelings ranging from nervousness to happiness, and you’ll almost definitely have dozens of new things to get in order before you leave.
Your university years are said to be the best years of your life, and they may be! However, we’d argue that being a poor, exhausted, and the continuously hungover student has its own set of difficulties.
How do you keep healthy on a diet of pot noodles, for example? How can you sustain yourself while working a part-time job and meeting deadlines left, right, and center? And how can you afford to go out every week when you can’t even afford to feed yourself?
We’ve compiled some of the greatest advice for preparing for university life in order to make the days leading up to it, as well as the weeks you spend settling in, as easy as possible. Take a deep breath and follow these guidelines, and your new student life will get off to a flying start.
Sort Out the Fundamentals First.
As soon as you’ve received confirmation of your university acceptance, you should make it a priority to finalize all of the basic necessities, such as confirming your housing (remember, halls of residence are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis), arranging your transportation to university, and registering with your local GP.
Setting up a student bank account, on the other hand, is undoubtedly one of the most significant chores. Many financial institutions will provide these with additional appealing incentives, making it tough to choose between them. Use comparison websites to find the greatest offer for you and your particular financial situation.
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Take Charge of Your Own Situation
We’re no longer in high school. University is frequently the start of your adult life. It’s time to stop relying on your parents for everything and start taking your academics and future more seriously.
Your parents will still help you make meals, get you from point A to point B, and hold you accountable for studying while you are in high school, but once you enter university, it is your job to manage your time and workload.
- You are solely responsible for your grades and results.
- It is your responsibility to attend class.
- You are in charge of your time.
- You are in charge of your workload.
Before You Go, Be Sure Your Expectations are Realistic.
If you’re going to university for the first time and will be away from home for a long time, it’s vital that you set some reasonable expectations for yourself before you leave. It’s not uncommon for first-year students to experience homesickness during their first few weeks at university; this doesn’t automatically indicate that you’re not fit for university life, but it can be challenging. Instead of pushing yourself too hard, allow yourself to go through the motions.
Create and Stick to a Budget.
It’s no secret that being a student comes with a lot of financial challenges. You don’t want to blow your entire student loan in the first week of university, as tempting as it may seem. As soon as you have a list of your expenses, sit down and make a budget that you can stick to for the entire academic year. Calculate how much money you need to spend on necessities like food and rent, and then how much money you have leftover to spend as you please.
If You Haven’t Already, Learn to Cook!
Getting takeout too frequently is bad for your health and your student budget, and you’ll undoubtedly miss the meals you’re used to. Solicit instruction on how to prepare your favorite dishes from someone who knows what they’re doing. It’s likely to be simpler than you imagine! If you’re not a natural cook, don’t worry; practice makes perfect in most cases.
Be Well Organized
It is critical to your mental health and performance that you always feel in control of the situation. This is only possible if you are extremely well organized. Keep a calendar and update it regularly, build a to-do list, or simply keep a diary where you can record your tasks, schoolwork, and plans. Anything that you believe can assist you in staying on top of your game.
Managing Your Time.
It is important that we understand how to manage our time at university in order to achieve all of our homework deadlines while also being able to enjoy university social life. A successful university student must have a disciplined approach to time management.
Poor time management affects all aspects of your life, so before starting university, I recommend learning how to manage your time, prioritise your responsibilities, organise your work, and prevent distractions and procrastination.
Find Out More about Your Lecturers.
It’s just as important to network in college as it is to take classes.
Furthermore, the vast majority of instructors will be glad to get to know you, share their expertise, and provide guidance as you go through your academic career.
Students who participate in events and form lifetime friendships get the most out of their university experience. Participating in campus life can help you better manage your time, form a support network if you’re having trouble, and create lifelong memories.
If you live on campus, join sports teams and social events; if you don’t, you can still participate in Guild Events, join clubs and societies, and participate in a variety of volunteer and sporting activities.
Please Show Up.
If we were to give you only one piece of advice for succeeding in university, it would be to go to class and pay attention. University is not like school. If you do not show up, no one will bother you. And while sleeping in on occasion is quite tempting, routinely attending lectures and tutorials is beneficial because:
- It’s time you set aside to study without much thought. If you miss a lecture, you’ll have to make up for it later online, or worse, you’ll miss it entirely and be caught off guard during exam time.
- During lectures and tutorials, lecturers frequently provide extra information that is not included in the notes.
- You can spend an hour at the library working on projects and studying if you’re already there.
- If you don’t understand something, you have the opportunity to ask questions (which leads to our following point…)
Seek Assistance if Necessary.
Asking for help can make a lot of bravery at times. It’s a frequent misconception that asking for help makes you appear weak or stupid. Furthermore, research has revealed that people frequently grossly underestimate their ability to get assistance when it is required.
It is, however, the reverse that is true. Multiple studies (including ones conducted by the University of Georgia and Harvard Business School) have repeatedly demonstrated that asking for and accepting help rather than believing that they must do it alone is one of the most important differentiators between exceptional and regular achievers.
As a university student, there may be moments when you don’t grasp a subject covered in class, your academic results aren’t as good as you’d anticipated, you have financial troubles, or the mental burden of your studies is too much for you.
Our advice is to always look for help.
Make a Head Start on your Reading.
If your institution has already provided you with a list of texts covered in your first semester (especially if it’s a text-based topic like English or law), it can be a good idea to get ahead, especially because it will help you manage your workload.
Mix It Up, Join a Club, and Make New Friends.
One of the best aspects of the university is the opportunity to meet some incredible people. And you’ll be friends with some of them for the rest of your life. You should be aware that college is when good friendships are formed. Don’t be scared to socialize, meet new people, and put yourself out there. It’s possible that you’ll make a new best buddy.
Prepare for Freshmen Week.
Freshman week was created to make it as easy as possible for new students to meet new people and form friendships with other students who share their interests. New students will be able to learn about groups and sports teams by attending fairs and get-togethers hosted by the student union. Get involved in freshers week and meet as many people as you can; friendships created during freshers can last a lifetime!
Freshman week schedules are usually released a few weeks before the start of the new semester. There’s always fancy dress, which is a terrific opportunity to meet new people, so make sure you bring a cool outfit to match the theme!
Have a Good Time.
University is, without a doubt, the best time of your life. You’re young, you don’t have many responsibilities, you’re surrounded by awesome friends, you feel like you have all the time in the world (and trust me, that feeling fades quickly in the real world), you’re not living with your parents, and there are so many other things that make college so damn cool! Have a good time and start working on the stories you’ll tell your grandchildren.
The above suggestions are by no means comprehensive of all the challenges you may face during your university years, but I hope they provide you with a better image of what to expect as you start on this new phase of your life. Take full use of the opportunity, as it will be one of the most enjoyable and carefree experiences of your life, and best of luck with university!
Do you have any advice for freshmen? Please let us know in the comments section below!