Settling into university
10 August 2018
After the parties have died out, you’ve attended all your introductory seminars and the final lecture on the library and its services has finished, it’s time to settle in and start to enjoy the first, few months of university.
It’s important to remember that university life will always be full of ups and downs, but it’ll all be worth it in the end.
Study, research and organise
The first term of university can be overwhelming as there’s so much you need to learn and people you need to meet. Now you’ve settled into university, it’s time to start taking your studies seriously. Research and get ahead of your coursework and exam revision. It is better to be overprepared, than underprepared.
Organise yourself so you can stay on top of your work but remember to have fun too. The first few months of university are all about finding a balance between socialising, studying and relaxing – it won’t be easy, but once you’ve achieved an equilibrium you’ll feel much more content with your lifestyle.
Join clubs if you didn’t the first time around
Start to branch out and look for refresher activities, which mean you can still take part in athletic and social clubs, even if you missed out signing up during Freshers’ Week. Many university social clubs will hold a second round of taster sessions, meaning you can have a go at lots of different sports that you didn’t get to try first time around.
Call home and check in with old friends, especially if you’re feeling home sick. After your first few months of university, you may have settled in straight away or you may still feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.
Both reactions are perfectly normal, and a phone call home is essential for those missing their loved ones and pets. If you can spare a weekend, you could also go back and visit. If you’re feeling down, a trip to your hometown might leave you feeling refreshed and restored and ready to go back to 9am seminars.
You come first
Remember to take care of yourself by eating well, exercising regularly and taking time to relax. Do not slip into the routine of takeaways and films every night and make sure you get enough sleep. It’s okay to miss one night out if you’re not feeling up to it – they’ll be plenty more nights like it and sometimes it isn’t worth your health.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to learn how to cook. Buy cookbooks from charity shops or look up delicious recipes online – there are sites dedicated to students on a tight budget who want a scrumptious meal. Make sure by now you’ve found a local dentist and a doctor’s surgery – many universities will have their own health services. Also, make sure you are aware of a university’s wellbeing centre.
There are people available for you to talk to if things get a bit too much – financially or emotionally – and programs that are designed to help you get the best out of university life.