1. Make the most of Freshers’ Week
Freshers’ Week provides a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with your new environment and meet lots of new people. You should make a stop at the Freshers’ Fair as it’s a good place to see the things on offer in your area. Plus, you can bag yourself lots of freebies and discounts, such as cheap gym memberships and book discounts. The Societies Fair is also great to visit. Ease the nerves of starting university by meeting people with similar interests or discovering a new hobby.
2. Make sure you have the books and materials you need
Although it seems obvious, it is important to be prepared before your classes begin. Whether it is a new laptop, stationary or books, you will feel less stressed knowing you have the materials you need to start. Expect to spend more on books than you imagined. However, cheap deals are available if you know where to look. Amazon.com, online forums, university notice boards and university book shops are great places to find second-hand books.
3. Get organised
To help settle in, it is best to avoid hassle by organising any accommodation, loans, and visas you need in advance. Likewise, you may need to purchase items such as crockery and pans depending on whether your student residence is catered or self-catered.
4. Learn to manage your time
University is all about independent learning, which means managing your own time well. We suggest pinning your timetable to your bedroom wall and highlighting key information, such as where you need to be and when. You could even adapt your timetable to include a study schedule for whilst you’re not in class. Not only will this make you feel less overwhelmed by your workload, it can also help you to achieve a good work-life balance by factoring in time to socialise and relax.
5. Brush up on your study skills
Speaking of independent learning, brushing up on your study skills will be essential! Do you work better in silence or with background noise? Make life easier by finding out your preferred learning styles and revision methods as early as possible.
6. Get ahead with your reading
Most modules involve a certain amount of required reading, especially in text-based disciplines like English or law. Reading lists may be posted online or emailed to you in advance. If so, get a head start by buying or loaning the books you need from the library. Some familiarity with your course material will make life easier when you begin.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Never hesitate to ask for help. Can’t find a book in the library? A librarian will be happy to help. Didn’t quite understand something in class? Your lecturers will gladly clarify for you.
8. Check the notice boards
There will be notice boards all over your university campus. If you’re not sure where to look, the Students’ Union and departmental notice boards are good places to start. Staff and students advertise all kinds of things, including book sales, cheap accommodation, events, gigs, and special lectures. Take advantage of these by keeping a lookout for good bargains or interesting events.
9. Make the most out of the library, it’s amazing
Never underestimate the power of the library. Stuck on an essay? Not sure where to start? Your library will have plenty of books to help. If not, they can usually source materials from elsewhere. They also provide a quiet place to study, which will be essential during essay and exam seasons. University libraries are fantastic resources, so make sure to utilise them.
Most importantly, enjoy your first few weeks at university before the hard work begins. Meet other students and try new things, but don’t forget to pause, take a breath, and make the most out of your experience.
Not sure what to expect at university? Take a look at our blog post: ‘Starting University (Part 1): What to Expect’.