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Student life-before you start

Tips for starting university

Starting university can be a strange departure from the comforts of home. Here we have the best tips to make the process easier.

A group of students smile as they walk through university

Only pack the essentials

It may be tempting to pack everything you own when getting ready for university. However, you should only pack what’s essential. 

As you’ll likely be living with others, you won’t need to take too much, otherwise you may end up with multiples of the same thing, such as kitchen essentials. You can always wait until you know what’s available and then buy any extras. 

Try avoiding anything too expensive, and don’t forget the important documents you'll need for enrolment.

Don't hide away

It can be scary meeting lots of new people, especially living with them straight away, but try not to hide in your room. Be brave! Try wedging your door open and be social – you're going to be around these people a lot for the next year at least.

You could even have some snacks or tea bags ready for group situations – you'll be immediately loved. Countless students will start university at the same time as you, so you're bound to share interests with at least one other person. Just make sure you put yourself out there so you can find them and they can find you.

Freshers' week should be one of the most fun and memorable times of your university life. Remember to pace yourself. Take time to pause, have a nap, and don't feel pressured to be sociable all the time. Everybody needs a bit of time to themselves now and again.

It's okay to miss home

Moving out isn’t easy. You’ll have a new environment and friends, a new education and responsibilities. You may feel down at times, but that’s normal – most students do. It’s always good to keep in touch with family and friends. Let them know how you're feeling and if you need to, contact university support services, which should always be available to help.

Believe in yourself

Don't ever think you're not intelligent enough to be where you are. Stepping up to degree level can be difficult for everyone. Fortunately, the staff will make sure you 'e gradually introduced to the work so you don't feel too overwhelmed.

Most universities will have extra learning facilities to help with your studies, with some offering workshops and short courses before term starts. 

Don't forget you picked your course for a reason, most likely because it’s something you have a strong interest in. Any difficulties will be worth it in the end.

Take advantage of every opportunity

From work experience to joining a club or society, there's a wealth of different things you can do to enrich your student life. Make the most of your time when not studying. Extra skills you develop as well as contacts and networks you gain will enhance your degree and boost your CV, and could create new opportunities after graduating.

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