Starting university can be daunting and exciting at the same time. Student stereotypes are well known – Fresher’s Week, an aversion to cleaning, and the occasional lecture. But in reality, each student experience will be different depending on the person and other factors such as the type of university, course, whether full time or part time, younger or mature student etc.
For most students, the biggest change is that you’ll be living independently; looking after yourself, doing your own cooking, cleaning and washing, organising your learning and social life and being responsible for your own finances, without teachers and parents/carers looking over your shoulder.
Before starting university, it’s worth taking time to find out more about what life is likely to be like at your chosen university and course. You can do this by checking out the university website which will have information on facilities, clubs and societies, night life etc. There’s also a wealth of information in the form of websites and social media, and each university will usually have an account on Facebook and Twitter. Topics covered include making new friends, nights out – staying safe and being drink aware, money matters, housing issues, Fresher’s Week, help and advice for students with disabilities, information for mature students, getting a part time job, study advice and much more.
The information and advice to students are plentiful. As with all information available on line and elsewhere, it’s worth bearing in mind how impartial it is. Make sure you use a range of information sources to ensure a good balance of views and opinions. Here’s some links which may be of use:
- Push.co.uk : Push creates most of its own research from a series of lengthy questionnaires sent to the universities and students unions and from annual site visits.
- NUS: National Union of Students
- Thestudentroom: From here you can read the student guides to find out what students at that university have to say about it; also includes official guides.
- Which? University has information on Student Life
- YouTube - loads of relevant video’s