Written by Annabel Scott
BSc (Hons) Archaeological & Forensic Sciences
Moving from college to university can often seem like a small step to some, but it can also be a big step to others. If it’s a big step however, the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself. A similar transition would have been from school to college where the rules change. The rules of university however are even more different from these. The main changes would be that of the sudden freedom, i.e. living by yourself, greater responsibilities involving money, taking responsibility for your own work schedule etc. There is no teacher telling you to do things – it’s up to you! There are no parents to cook for you, clean and pay the bills (unless you live at home). Your work ethic and how things are completed (preferably not at the last minute) is now solely down to you. This transition can be made easier in many ways. Some things may seem tedious and others may seem like a great idea.
My top tips:
- Talk to people – whether it be friends already at university or those that are going, family (they often know things) or students already at university doing your course. It all helps to gather information on how to approach not only work but budgeting and having fun.
- Learn life hacks – this can include: cleaning up, washing clothes (though it’s often explained on the washers/dryers) cooking (even if it’s just cooking pasta), understand money (including knowing that money isn’t endless – it’s been known to run out).
- Make your new room homely – take things with you for your room to make you feel at home and don’t do what I did and forget everything apart from a single Doctor Who poster
- Socialise – trust me, I know that can be difficult for some people, me included. Look into what is happening during freshers’ week. Ask your housemates to join you. You can start as small or as big as you like, I ended up making friends with someone in my house through Facebook and we went to a fish and chip quiz night and met new people that way – yes, it can be as simple as that. Don’t forget that everyone is in the same boat as you.
- Attending lectures – the first week or two of lectures are key (as are all lectures – turn up to them all J) they let you know how the lecturers work and who is on your course. Taking notes is vital and knowing the rules of work is imperative (referencing and plagiarism are serious business here).
- Homesickness – it’s a thing some people will feel when being away from home. I really missed home, but going out during freshers’ week, even just for the day, helped me get over it, and so did socialising with people. Try not to go home for at least the first two months and you should be fine for the rest of your time at university. It’s okay to miss home though, don’t forget that. Skype can be great for keeping in touch on a face to face basis and for showing people around your room. Do not forget that while you may miss your family, equally they will miss you too!
For me the most important thing about the transition between college and university is to be you and believe in yourself. You are not alone and it affects us all. You’ve made it this far, you can keep on going and new friendships will develop.
Thank you for reading!
By Annabel Scott