Leaving home for most students means moving away from family and friends, however, this is not the case. There are many worries and doubts which go through students’ minds. You are not alone when thinking about these fears!
So if you’re a prospective student starting university this academic year or are a current university student then this article will help you put your worries at ease and help you get the most out of your university experience.
I am a second year student studying a MChem Chemistry degree. I wanted to study at a university that was away from home so that I could become more independent as a person. Moving away to university and living in student accommodation I feel so far has been an amazing experience if you embrace it, learn how to cook and look after yourself, socialise, make new friends, take part in opportunities and events which are taking place on campus or around the city, work hard and focus on your studies. Now I’ll give you some top tips on how you can make the most of university life.
1. Make the most of your first few weeks
The first few weeks of university are very important to how you settle into the new town and university life. Fresher’s week is the best time to integrate into your new life it gives you the chance to make new friends, familiarize yourself with the campus, find out where the best places are in the city and more. The most important thing to do is to participate in fresher’s week, go to your course orientation or welcome talks, have a tour of the campus and go to the freshers’ fair, which is held by the heads of the schools, the university and your SU representatives. This is also an important time just before your studies commence where you have some time to acclimatize without the pressure of getting thrown immediately into studies.
Get to know the people in your course and within the student accommodation you live in, go out for meals and explore the city to get to know it better! Most of all sign up to societies, clubs, sports teams and take part in anything that interests you! Make sure you build a strong foundation for your new life.
2. Socialise with a wider variety of people
Making friends tends to come from the three main sources; your flatmates, students on your course and other members of your societies. I feel that joining a society is one of the best things a student can do whilst at university. It makes you come out of your comfort zone and it gives you the best opportunity to meet new people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, with the same interests as you, it gets you socializing! These opportunities are limited if you spend the rest of the three or four years of your life with the same group of people.
3. Establish a good relationship with your tutors and lecturers
Your tutors and lecturers are there to help and support you. So if you’re struggling with something or need some further clarification about a topic, would like to explore an idea for your essay, want some book recommendations for extra reading or just want to chat in a private and safe space about any worries that you have in life, just ask your tutors or lecturers and they will be happy to help and guide you. Your tutors and lecturers will have appointments during office hours, which you can book with them on a one-to-one basis.
4. Be open to travel or study abroad opportunities
This is an amazing experience and looks great on your CV. Keep an eye out for these opportunities available through your university including the study abroad programs, a semester abroad, student summer internships or international summer school programmes.
5. Plan ahead
There is a good chance that if you don’t know what you want to do in the future for a career that you will definitely see people around that have a clear idea and defined plan for their future career. It’s fine to have either of these but start to think about the different career options that are open to you, look at the areas which interest you and what it takes to succeed in those industries in terms of qualifications, experience, job placements etc…
6. Lastly and most importantly…
Say yes to as many things as possible unless dangerous, illegal or have a reason not to. One of the best things about university life is that it gives you an opportunity to explore and try new things so you don’t really know how bad it is unless you try it. So meet new people, go and try new things and most importantly have fun as these times will not come again!