I chose to go to university because it would be
a good opportunity to broaden my horizons and
enrich my knowledge. I had enjoyed my A Level
subjects, albeit finding them rather challenging,
so I felt continuing to university was the right
choice for me.
Here, I will provide a student’s guide to how I settled in – and the things to be aware of if you start your own university journey.
Looking back, there were a few things that
I would have appreciated having more
information on before going to university.
Despite watching lots of videos on YouTube and
attending open days, I should have asked what
the timetable was like for someone studying my
subject and what assignments I could expect. It
was a relief knowing that the assignments were
spread out over a couple of weeks and there
weren’t too many very early starts!
I could have also asked for more information on managing finances and scholarship opportunities. Some companies offer scholarships and bursaries, and students may need to apply before starting their course.
I also think it’s a good idea once you are at
university, to familiarise yourself with the
different departments across the university and
be aware of what school/department you are
part of. Each school has different opportunities
and perhaps a separate team of wellbeing
officers who make decisions on things like
coursework extensions and offering student
When I started university, I found speaking to students who have been at the university longer than me to be incredibly helpful. There are lots of Facebook groups, where people ask about modules and there is also general university advice. Now I am a student ambassador, I can meet more students across the university, and it is great to hear their words of wisdom. I would strongly recommend attending events, especially freshers’ events which help new students to settle in.
You may also consider additional responsibilities outside of your course. For example, I have had the opportunity to take part in mentoring schemes and sat on youth advisory boards. This has required a high level of organisation to meet coursework deadlines and juggle projects. These opportunities provided excellent clarity on my next steps after university, but if you take on additional responsibilities, it is important to ensure you don’t overload yourself and you stay in tune with your mental health.
As the assignments started appearing as well as module choices, I found that developing a good organisation system was helpful. For my own degree, I found making a list of deadlines on a sheet of paper and adding these to my Google calendar worked well.
One thing I would really recommend that you
do before going to university is to check if
you are eligible for the DSA (Disabled Student
Allowance). This enables equipment and
specific software to be given to you if you have
a disability, to help make your learning easier.
Applications can take time, so I would advise
you to start this as soon as possible.
Depending on your situation, if you have been eligible for extra time in exams at sixth form or college, this should be the case at university. If applicable, and writing based on my experience, students are usually allocated a disability advisor who can provide help and support with study adjustments.
This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.
by Rebecca Wills
posted on 22 Feb '24
With so many graduates now entering the job market, a degree alone is not always enough. It is therefore very important that you work on developing your employability skills throughout your time at university, and university careers services are experts in offering a range of support to help you achieve this successfully. I will tell you more about some of the opportunities here.