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BA (Hons) English

Jessica-AlexanderMany of us have experienced the transition from school to college. We were told it was a big leap, because of the new environment and new work ethic. After all, A-levels and BTECs get us into our dream university right? However, as important as this transition is, it is a small step compared to the move to university. It is not just about joining a new educational institution, it is about changing your lifestyle, meeting new people and becoming independent, something which many of us have no idea how to cope with.

It can be daunting leaving behind the comfort of your college, you’re still living in the same area, you still have the familiar surroundings of your own family home and many of your friends would’ve moved to the same college as you. But now it’s time to pack up your belongings and head to a place, to a home and to a group of people that are alien to you.

Jess - results

Here are a few top tips on how to cope:

  • Take with you to university belongings that make you feel at home and that make your new uni room feel cosy. It could be the little bear you were given as a kid, some pretty ornaments or other knick-knacks. Having these things in your room will make the place feel a little more inviting and homely.
  • When you arrive at university or your accommodation portray yourself positively. Don’t pick a fight with your flatmate over something silly as soon as you arrive, you want to make some good friends from the get go and after a while you can decide whether they are friend-worthy or not. Even if you may be slightly anxious and worried, try to push past that feeling. Everyone will be feeling exactly the same and most people appreciate someone with a little confidence to lighten the mood and make everyone else feel comfortable.
  • Try to spend time in the social areas, whether that be in your flat/house or another part of your accommodation. Hiding in your room will just make you feel more homesick.
  • One difference between college and university is the fact that most people who go to university move away from their home town. I was also told that the first semester of university was the most fun, but also the most difficult and for the first semester don’t go home. If you can last three months overcoming home sickness then you’re set for the rest of your time at university.Jess - school
  • Your first week of lectures and seminars are vital. You will begin to learn the new university work ethic. Make sure you listen and take notes, as the leap to university brings strict new rules on assignments, including referencing and plagiarism.
  • Essays at university require a lot more research and intellectual knowledge (how much depends on your course), therefore independent study time is so important in getting a respectable grade. Put the extra work in and you’ll notice a difference. If you struggle at any time, BU offers fantastic support.
  • And last, but by no means least, be yourself!

By Jessica Alexander

5 Responses to “Coping with the transition from college to university”

  1. Shadia

    Iam actually waiting for my ccertificates ..will get them in August question is ..
    Can I still apply for university or have to wait for the results?

    • kdanceydowns

      Hi Shadia,

      Thanks for your message. Unfortunately the deadline for late applications has now passed, but once you get your results in August you’d be welcome to try and apply through Clearing, depending on which course you’re interested in. If you want some more help, feel free to email

      Good luck with your results!

  2. Dan

    Hey Jessica
    Your posts really inspired me a lot.
    I am Egyptian,I am in grade 11 and studying IGCSE
    I wish to study at BU and your posts really encouraged me
    I was asking if you can guide me and give me some advices that could help me to apply in BU,if it is possible.

    • Jessica

      Hi Dan!

      I’m really pleased you enjoyed reading my post. What in particular would you like to know more about?

  3. Jessicaa

    This post has really helped with relieving some of my worries about living with new people at BU, thank you!


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