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Transitioning to university

Change can be hard no matter what the scenario, but transitioning to university can come with a bunch of new challenges you’ve never had to face before.

Here are some of the areas that can be affected most when moving to university, and some tips on how to prepare and deal with that change effectively.


For many, university will be the first time you are living away from home. This comes with a whole host of things that are now your responsibility to take care of. Here’s a short list of some basic ways to prepare to be more independent at university;

  1. Learn how to budget your money effectively – You can find tips on budgeting here, as well as helpful spreadsheets that will help you keep track of your money.
  2. Learn to cook! – You don’t want to be forking out money for takeaways or living off beans and toast. There are some really simple BBC Good Food recipes that would be good to practice.
  3. Do your own laundry – Most of us have the luxury of our parents doing our laundry at home, but you’re on your own at uni! You don’t want to get to your first laundry day and have no idea what’s suppose to go where, so get into the habit of doing your own before you go to uni.
  4. Do your own food shopping – Watch what your parents do. Do they buy random things? Do they have a detailed list? Do they go as far as to plan out meals for the week? Knowing HOW you’re going to shop takes a lot of the stress out of the activity. Personally, I’m a big meal plan type of girl, but have some sort of system helps to ensure you’re not buying total rubbish every time.


Your social life is going to change! You’ll be meeting more people than ever, and gaining new friends in all different kinds of groups. This can be stressful, as some find it hard to manage the balance between their uni social life, and their one at home.

Don’t worry! People will understand that you’re busy sometimes, and will totally get it if you want to go home for the weekend. You don’t need to be afraid that you’re missing out on anything, and should understand that there are things you won’t be able to do, and that is okay!

For more tips and a lengthier discussion on this particular topic, check out this Fresher Take podcast episode.


Learning at A-Level, and learning at university, are vastly different things. Different teaching methods and expectations can be overwhelming, however understanding how you can prepare can help take the pressure off.

  1. Understand the different formats of lessons – Seminars, workshops, lectures and practical’s are all different things, and will entail different modes of learning. Do some research into which of these your course uses and how that will effect how you prepare for each lesson.
  2. Getting used to independent study– They say university is mainly studying on your own, and this is 100% true. Whilst you do have support from lecturers, you will be expected to do your own research and come with your own theories and questions to discussions. Prepare for this during college as much as you can, and if your college offers the chance to do an EPQ, take it!
  3. Understand assessments – A lot of courses have a mixture of ways you will be assessed. From exams, to coursework, to portfolios, to group projects, and knowing which of these is used on your course if useful. If you know you are weaker in a particular area, practice it or dedicate a bit more time to it, to put yourself in the best position to succeed.


Know that you have support!

There is always someone to help you at university!

Talk to family – You are not completely alone, your family and friends are a phone call away, and can even come and visit.

Talk to lecturers– They are there to help! Especially if what you’ re struggling with is academic based.

Go to your wellbeing or advice center – If you feel you need professional help, the wellbeing center at your university is more than equipped to handle your needs.

Try the Fika app – This emotional fitness app allows you to complete exercises that help with handling change.

Look at online resources – There are tons of stuff online that is specifically dedicated to helping people transition to university, like this guide from Student Minds.

And Lastly,

CHECK OUT THE FRESHER TAKE PODCAST– Bit of a shameless plug, but if you enjoy hearing about university problems form actual university students, than this is the podcast for you!

Please note: This content was created prior to Coronavirus, and some things might be different due to current laws and restrictions. Please refer to Government advice and the University of Lincoln for the latest information.

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