Students feeling anxious and nervous about starting university should know that all of these mixed emotions are completely normal. University is a big step and utterly different than what they have experienced before. If you are starting university in the next few weeks there are a few things you can do to get prepared for university.
Studying at university level will feel different than your previous studies at GCSE, A-Level and/or BTEC, and this isn’t always because degrees are so hard to complete. Most of the time it is simply the different learning techniques you’re now going to be mastering, and learning a new set of rules for you academic life, like plagiarism and independent learning.
To get prepared for university you don’t need to read every book that is on the reading list, but buying one or two won’t hurt. It is likely that you’ll receive a recommended reading list which is catered to your entire course and the material will cover the general side to your degree, for example, if you are studying Film and Media buying a Media Studies book will help. Also, you’ll be given reading lists for each module/class to help you learn specifically theories and texts you’re going to study with that teacher, and even another reading list for each coursework you work on. University is full of lists and book titles that you are expected to read. As we said, reading every single word of each and every book recommended won’t guarantee you a First or that you’ll have a social life, however, you need dedicate time to independent study as this is what is expected of you and what you should be doing now that you’re at degree level.
Most undergraduates choose to move away from home during their degree and stay in Halls or at privately rented accommodation, and the best way to ensure you’re prepared for living on your own is to buy all of the essentials. Before you move – or on moving day whilst you’re travelling to your new home – buy all of the every-day necessities, and buy them in bulk! We’re talking about toilet paper, kitchen roll, dry foods, toothpaste, washing powder and anything else that you simply can’t live without – or it’ll be really unpleasant! Once you have all of this you can top up the rest of groceries which are on your shopping list as and when you need them. Also, buying in bulk generally saves you money, so thumbs up to you!
The next big issue is all about the dollar in your bank account – whether your student loan has cleared or not. You need to understand fully how much university is going to cost you and how much money you physically have. It is really easy to go a bit crazy the first couple of weeks of Freshers and completely regret all of your shopping decisions for the rest of term. Trust us; this isn’t a fun feeling at all, we’ve been there. Learning to budget is one of the hardest things to do – and some adults still can’t do it correctly – so use all of your willpower and energy to save before university. If you have savings before term starts you’re more likely to adjust to spending less money, or can treat yourself without feeling guilty or having to survive 6 weeks on beans on toast.
Lastly, the best thing you can to to fully prepare yourself to university is to have an open mind. Your university will be full of different people, cultures, academia and ideas, and you need to become accustomed of giving everything a chance and not pre-judging. Freshers and the beginning of term is one of the most fun experiences you’re going to have throughout your degree and mingling with people from all walks of life will be exhilarating and fun. So charge into university with your head held high and with an entirely open mind and we guarantee you’re going to enjoy your time as a student, even if you don’t feel fully prepared or not.
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