Starting University: My Top Tips
Speaking from a recent graduate who successfully survived three years at uni, these top tips are here to provide you with four key bits of advice I would give to my past fresher self.
1) Be Proactive
For some of you, like me, going to university might be the first time you’ve been away from home. Understandably you might be feeling nervous and unsure – this is completely normal. Just remember everyone’s in the same boat, so even though you may feel and look alone, you’re not. That’s why I suggest being the proactive one! On that first week at uni (fresher’s week), no one’s going to look at you funny for striking up a conversation, if anything they’ll probably be thinking “Thank God! Now I’ve got someone to chat too”. Some common conversation starters that you’ll hear a lot are: Where are you from?; What are you studying?; What accommodation are you in? etc. When you run out of these, start asking them what they’ve done that day or what they plan on doing, you might hear about something new.
2) Say Yes
Not to absolutely everything, but along those lines. The number of opportunities suddenly made available to you as a fresher are endless. With so many sports and societies to get involved with, take what comes your way, and if it’s not for you, move onto the next. What I would recommend is trying something completely new and different, as many university sports team can be very competitive, and this is a luxury which is harder to come by later in life. If you are unsuccessful, don’t feel disheartened, it probably wasn’t meant to be anyway. Keep trying and enquiring and you’ll find something you love in no time.
3) Don’t settle
Fresher’s week can come and go in an excitable blur, but the end of fresher’s week doesn’t mean the end of your exploring. Once you’ve made a few friends and you’ve gone to all the events, it’s easy to get comfortable very quickly. You know who you know, you know where you like to eat etc. But I urge you to keep going! You have a whole year of being a fresher, and for most universities (in the UK anyway), your first year counts 0% towards your overall degree. This takes the pressure off academically, giving you time to try all sorts of things, in and outside of uni. Which brings me on to my last tip…
4) Use your time
Unlike school, your day at uni isn’t mapped out for you hour by hour. You may have a spare morning there, a 2 hour break here, it completely depends. This gives you flexibility! And whilst it’s tempting to spend that time chilling with your new friends (nothing wrong with this), I know that if I could go back, I would have used that time to earn some money, go to the gym, or get involved in a sport/society, there’s no limit.
Anyway, there’s my list, I hope it helps give any of you who are about to start uni or any new stage in life a good confidence boost. Good luck, you’ll be fine.