Are you starting as a fresher at university this October? If so, our Assistant Manager, Madeleine, has some valuable advice for you!
For most people, moving from school to university is a huge change. Whether you decide to stay at home and go to a local university or ship out and move further afield, university offers many young people a chance at a fresh start, the chance to meet new people and endless opportunities to learn and do tons of new things.
While this can be a thrilling experience which students are eager to run at head-first, it can nonetheless be a little daunting. So, we’ve thought up a few tips and tricks that should help you stay afloat as you try and navigate your way through your first term of uni, and eventually land on the safer shores of the Christmas holidays!
First of all, it’s a good idea to fully familiarise yourself with your surroundings. Who do you go to when you forget your room key? Where is the local GP surgery? And most importantly: where is your supply of midnight snacks coming from? Hunt around town and find these things out so you can have a good idea of the place you’re going to be calling home for the next couple of years, and you’ll find that you’re off to a pretty good start. The only issue with getting to know the place well is that you wont have an excuse when you turn up late to your first lecture!
Secondly, remember to pack that paracetamol. Staying in student halls and sharing living spaces with new people commonly leads to outbreaks of what is popularly known as Freshers Flu. While Freshers Flu is on the less serious side of illnesses, it is often successful at making students miss some (*cough, cough* many...) initial lectures. This might seem like no big deal, but a prompt recovery means not missing out on info you may need further down the line! So medicine-up, get your thermals on, and beat that Freshers Flu!
So you’ve beaten freshers flu - what’s the next step? One of the most exciting parts of university - making new friends and meeting new people. Making new friends has such a positive effect on your first term and helps create a sense of a home away from home. Luckily, universities make this easy as most have loads of societies and clubs for you to join where you can make friends for life and maybe even learn or enhance a skill along the way. So don’t be too shy and put yourself out there! Sign up for that drama club or get along to the Star Trek Appreciation Society and you might just find a new hobby and a couple of great mates who will support you in (and possibly distract you from) your uni work along the way.
Once you’ve settled in and have started to get used to the people and things around you, there might still be times when you feel homesick or overwhelmed by university life. The good news is that this is perfectly normal, and lots of people feel this way. Know that it’s perfectly fine to Skype your parents for some home comfort or organise a trip home - it doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t mean you’ll never settle in! Allow yourself to have these moments to yourself and give yourself plenty of time to recuperate so that you can get back out there and nail that first term!
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Whether it’s work or something else, almost everyone struggles with something while they’re at university. If there’s something your really stuck with academically, don’t worry about asking for some assistance from a friend or a member of academic staff. Organise study groups with your pals, or knock on your professor’s door, and solve that problem! There’s no point suffering in silence!
Once you have the first term down, you’ll take the rest of it in your stride... So get out there and enjoy it!
Blog Post Crafted by Madeleine
Madeleine helps Leticia run our Admin Team. Despite the fact that she read Japanese at university, Madeleine’s main passion in life is opera and she hopes to become the next Maria Callas some day...
Madeleine manages the staff on our Admin Team, and often liaises with tutors, clients and applicants. She is responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors.