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How to cope with the transition from college life to University

Going from A-levels to a university degree can be a challenging experience. Not only are you dealing with an entirely new set of people, but your schedule and workload is totally different too. After the novelty wears off, it might seem daunting to realise you’re spending the next few years in a brand new environment. But don’t worry, we have some useful tips to make the transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Managing changes

It helps to be aware of what the most significant differences will be. First off, you’ll be expected to self-study a lot more. This will vary depending on your course and university, but your day-to-day timetable generally won't have as much structure as your time at college or sixth form so you’ll need to manage your time effectively. 

As far as the workload, you can expect it to be faster-paced and more in-depth than you’re used to. It’s helpful to take time every day or so to go over the notes you made during lectures or that your tutor has given you. This will help keep fresh in your mind, so you don’t have to cram at the end of the year. 

A major difference will be the people around you. You’re likely to be surrounded by those at a similar level to you, so you might not be top of class anymore, or you might find some of your fellow students work a lot more or a lot less than you do. Remember, this isn’t a competition. Work at your own pace and make sure you’re reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself - not those of other people. Everyone is working towards a common goal at university, but we all take different journeys to get there. 

Handling situations

We shouldn’t underestimate the power of coping mechanisms. Everyone has their own methods, but it’s widely accepted that exercise, eating healthy and taking regular breaks are hugely beneficial when it comes to keeping calm and confident about your studies. 

Exercise has been shown to improve mood and concentration, so finding a sport you enjoy is a great idea. Take a look at what’s on offer at the freshers’ fairs and keep an open mind. If you’ve always fancied trying out rowing, why not give it a go?

Eating healthy can be tricky due to all the student discounts on offer but save those treats for a rare occasion, and you’ll feel much better for it. Make sure your regular meals are full of healthy protein and vegetables to keep yourself in good physical shape. 

And don’t forget to take breaks whenever you feel yourself flagging. Whether you’re cramming for exams or in the middle of a long week of lectures, taking a moment to relax can clear your mind and keep your mind in top condition. This could be meditation, taking a walk around the park or simply a phone call with your family - whatever helps you unwind.

One day at a time

University will expose you to new and unexpected situations, covering everything from socialising to managing your studies, but do your best to take everything in your stride. The advice above will make sure you don’t get overwhelmed, meaning you can focus your time and energy on making your university years as fun and enjoyable as possible. 

Your choice of accommodation can also have a big impact on how comfortable your university experience is. We pride ourselves on giving you the highest levels of service, security and attention to detail, in cities all over the UK and beyond from London to Edinburgh and beyond. Browse our range of student accommodation here.