University Tips Blog
Image of a university student on campus
A headshot image of the author, Sarah Wiltshire

by Sarah Wiltshire

Student Recruitment and Events Officer at the University of South Wales

posted on 6 Jun '23

A guide to student life and the university transition

Transitioning to student life at university from a sixth-form or college may prove intimidating for some students. This is their opportunity to live and study autonomously, encountering new aspects of independence that they may not have tackled before.

Here are some useful hints and tips to help you support students on their higher education journeys.

Student finance and budgeting

Each student will have an individual financial situation, depending on their student loan, accommodation choice and lifestyle. Therefore, the importance of making the most of their money must be stressed.

One way to show your students the value of their loan is to break down their cost of living. Once their rent and other expenses have been deducted from their total, divide the rest of the money into a monthly or daily allowance. This may surprise some students, as they may never have considered the cost of living. However, there are simple yet effective ways to stretch out their loan, such as buying and cooking in bulk - a larger weighted item of food may cost more, but may work out less per pound and will last longer. Another way would be to use shop brand products, rather than big brand items.

Student accommodation

Living away from home for the first time can be a daunting prospect. However, it is a chance for students to get a taste of independent living. They will be residing with individuals who have come from unique walks of life who will provide different perspectives. Moreover, students will be able to learn new life skills such as cooking new meals, cleaning, and keeping themselves healthy.

It is important to stress that if students do not feel they have all the knowledge they need, it is easily accessible. Universities often provide advice on independent living, they can ask friends and family, or simply search online.

Students must remember that it is always possible to visit family or stay in touch with them online - staying connected is imperative for positive well-being.

Image of students relaxing in university halls of residence

Making friends

It is important for students not to feel lonely at university, as this can negatively impact their well-being.

University provides a wealth of opportunities for students to make new friends. A good way to find friends with similar interests would be to join a society - this will allow students to continue their passion or hobby whilst making friends who appreciate the same topics. Another way to meet new people is through attending freshers events, as well as joining online freshers groups on social media

Three top tips for your students from a recent graduate

1. Buy a wall calendar to keep track of your assignments - it is useful for knowing when to start each one and when the deadlines are!
2. Bring sweet treats on your moving in day to break the ice with new flatmates.
3. Buy a student railcard to save money.

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