You’re about to start University and I think I can imagine how you’re feeling right now. In fact, I know. Three years ago, I was in your position, photographs of my brand-new room even popped up on my Timehop the other day, so I definitely know how you are feeling about starting this new adventure.
You’re probably scared, chances are you’re nervous and I can almost definitely guarantee that you’re excited! Whether you’re fresh out of college or heading a few years down the line, that doesn’t matter, it’s completely normal to feel nervous but I’m hoping I can help you feel slightly less so.
Ten tips to finding your feet at University:
I hate to be cliché, but this is the one piece of advice I will always give new students. You have to be yourself, there’s no point pretending to be someone you’re not and it’ll help you be more relaxed and comfortable in your new surroundings and environment.
This is potentially going to be one of the hardest things you go through as a new University student, especially if you are moving away from home for the first time. Settling in and making your new house a home is very important and it will help you feel more comfortable before starting your lectures.
Get your bearings.
There is nothing worse than arriving late for your first day of lectures because you don’t know where the room is. One thing which was really helpful about City was the campus map, that is now your best friend – I wish I had found out about it sooner because I was constantly getting buildings and rooms mixed up.
Connect with people.
If you’re just starting University there is a high chance that you’ll be sharing a flat with complete strangers. Getting to know your flatmates will really help you in finding your feet at University, especially if you don’t know anyone and you haven’t started lectures yet. That being said, sometimes you won’t get on with people in your flat – that’s okay too, you will make friends quick enough.
Prepare for lectures.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and say that for every single lecture I was as prepared as I could have been (sorry) as that isn’t true. What I will say though, it will definitely help you out if you prepare for your lectures, do the set reading and you won’t end up feeling like a fish out of water.
Take advantage of every opportunity available.
You should make the most of the time when you aren’t studying and extra-curricular or work experience opportunities can be the perfect way. Getting involved will only help you make friends and the extra activities could help your future (sorry, I mentioned the f word already)!
It’s very easy to splash the cash in the first few weeks, especially when that student loan drops, but you don’t want to go hungry for three out of four weeks of the month. Budgeting will help you make the most of your experience both in and out of University, setting aside money for food, bills and extra-curricular activities will really help you.
Discounts are your friend.
This goes hand in hand with budgeting, but you really ought to make the most of student discounts when you can. Unidays, NUS and StudentBeans are three discount sites or cards that you should make the most of, especially if you want to go out for a meal but don’t want to spend a small fortune. Read my two University saving tips and tricks posts here and here.
Go to Freshers… but don’t feel pressured.
Freshers is a big thing and you hear a lot about it, but you shouldn’t feel pressured to go to every single Fresher event and you shouldn’t feel pressured to go out just because everyone else is. Making sure you have the best experience is the priority, do what you want. Plus, there is nothing worse than buying a freshers wristband for a week’s worth of events to find that friends or flatmates aren’t going to any. Read more Freshers advice here.
Ask for help!
If you are struggling, in any way, asking for help is the best decision. There will always be someone there to talk to and support you – my lecturers at City were excellent for this. They want to help you have the best experience as possible so if you don’t have anyone else to reach out to, they will listen.
Finding your feet at University is tough, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! I hope that these University tips have been helpful and that you will start to feel a little more comfortable about your experience and starting afresh. Remember that there is always someone else out there who is feeling like you do, just reach out.
Oh… one final thing. Good luck! I’m sure you’ll be amazing!
All photography featured in this blog post is my own.