That first day moving into university in potentially a new town can be overwhelming. For many of us, it is the first time being away from home. Coming from a current university student, there are so many things I wish I knew when moving in to make that adjustment period easier. Here are my top 3 things I wish I knew before I started University.
1. Speak up in your seminars!
Seminars are designed to create more contact time with your professor. They allow you to ask any questions about previous lectures. Don’t be scared to do this! It is initially quite daunting, and I admit I sometimes still struggle in certain modules, but there are so many benefits to doing it. For one, it helps you to better understand the module, as in lectures the professor can speak quickly and things can easily be missed. However, it also helps you to build relationships. This will allow you to become more recognisable amongst the hundreds of people they teach, and you want to make a good impression. In order to do this, you should keep up with the recommended reading for discussion points in seminars.
2. Shopping around for university books
In your first few lectures you will be presented with a reading list which has the learning materials you will be using for that semester. Lecturers will also provide how you are able to purchase these books, usually through a university website. These bundles can be upwards of £100! Per semester! So, I can’t stress this enough, please shop around first. Check your university library doesn’t store them, or shop on Ebay or Amazon who usually both will sell second hand copies. I personally found the best way was through Facebook. Previous years students will post their books onto marketplace for a fraction of the cost, usually in perfect condition.
3. Making the effort to meet new people/ join clubs.
I assume that most of you will be heading off into halls. Try making the effort to meet new people. Whether it is hanging out in your common area, or even chatting to your flatmates whilst making food, making friends in your first year will make your experience a lot better and much less lonely. If you are interested in any sports or extracurricular activities, the university will hold a freshers fayre at the beginning of the year. Don’t be shy and go along. University can be daunting, so a good group of friends can really change that for you. Don’t be shy. Remember everyone else is in the same boat as you.