In a lot of ways, University is very different from going to school or sixth form. Whilst this change won’t just happen overnight, there are a few things that you should be aware of when you finally come to University!
Socially, you will effectively have to start from nothing. But that won’t last for long!
Unlike the move from school to Sixth Form, where you’ll likely know a few people before you arrive, when you arrive at the University it is highly likely that you won’t know anybody. Apart from people you might have chatted to beforehand on Facebook, near enough everyone will be a stranger to you.
However, you need to remember that at the start, everyone is in the same boat! Just making the effort to start a conversation with someone will make you feel at ease and you never know, that person may end up being your best friend for life…or you may never see them again!
When you get settled in though, you’re likely to find friends with your flatmates, course mates, people from any society’s that you join, people who work at the same place as you (if you get a job) etc. This means that you’ll find the chance to socialise 24/7 if you want to!
Before University you might have had your parents to moan at you if you didn’t revise or do your work, whereas now it’s totally up to you. Getting work done before a deadline, getting up in time in the morning, cooking your meals and doing your laundry – it’s all up to you! “With great power comes great responsibility”, as the old saying goes.
Your schedule will be completely different to what you’re used to.
When you first look at your University timetable, you may think that it looks a bit empty in comparison to your old timetables. But once you take into account your independent work; reading, essays, revision, it soon adds up. Furthermore, when you take into account being a part of a sports team, or a society, or having a part time job, you’ll find that you might not have as much time as you previously thought.
Although you have less teaching hours, it doesn’t mean that you have less work to do, it just means that you have more freedom over when you want to do it! Therefore, getting a diary is a really good idea to keep on top of things.
Whichever University you go to there is guaranteed to be a never ending list of stuff to get involved in. There are sports teams, societies, volunteering, getting a part-time job, and that’s just the start! Whereas at Sixth Form you were restricted to what you could get involved in, if you want to do something at university, then it’s quite likely that it’s possible. For example, here at Essex we even have a Korfball team, a cheese and wine society and various on campus job opportunities.
The only worry you’ll have is finding enough time to do it all! I do all the time, but it’s quite a nice problem to have!