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Placement Year

BA (Hons) Media Production

University for many people is a new experience, and in the time approaching your transition, other students will offer their experiences as encouragement for you to be prepared and know what to expect. Embarking on the journey to university can be a daunting yet an exhilarating prospect. Now being 3 years into my degree, I am reflecting on a few things I wish I had known before setting foot on campus.


Arriving at university, I underestimated the power of community. Connections extend beyond classmates & roommates, with diverse communities existing within subjects, departments, clubs and even work. Knowing this sooner would have eased the initial transition, reassuring me that there are numerous opportunities for building meaningful relationships beyond the expected circles. The abundance of opportunities to connect with people from various backgrounds enriched my experience, offering invaluable opportunities for learning and friendship, and extending far beyond my initial expectations.

Spare Time

Three students walkingInitially, I underestimated the amount of spare time I’d have. Spare time at university is not just about filling the gaps between classes with little socialising or studying; it’s about embracing the surplus of activities available. Whether it’s bonding with friends, discovering the local area, or delving into clubs and societies, there’s always something to do beyond the confines of academia.

Part-Time Jobs and WorkingCollege of three images, one of an open day campus tour, the second of students in accommodation with a member of reslife team and the third three students in green hoodies

Before university, I didn’t realise the commonness and benefits of part-time jobs. Whilst not all students needed them for financial support, many students opt for jobs for extra income, social connections, valuable experience and skill development. Having a part-time job is acceptable and encouraged, fostering independence, responsibility, and valuable real-world experience alongside academic pursuits.


Adapting to university life wasn’t without its challenges, but the reality often involves a period of adjustment. Many new students expect to seamlessly fit in, only to realise adaptation takes time, gradually acclimatising to this new world of independence. It’s entirely normal to feel nervous before starting, it is reassuring to know that everyone experiences similar challenges. You will soon find your footing, navigating household chores, cooking, managing studies, ultimately emerging more resilient and self-sufficient in their newfound independence.


Two images, the first students in a classroom and the other students hanging out togetherBefore coming to uni, we all have a stereotypical view of student life, – students are often depicted as either buried in books or constantly having fun, however, the reality is about embracing individuality and setting your own path.

Student life isn’t confined to lecture halls, dorm rooms and the local hangout, as many experience a balance between work and play, engaging in a variety of activities beyond the narrow confines of these expectations, finding fulfilment in both academic achievements and social activities.

University is what you make of it; explore, experience, and experiment, is the best part of university life, discovering who you truly are.

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