July 26, 2018, by Anjni
How to Prepare for University
So it’s coming to the end of July and that long, lazy summer that seemed to stretch out before you after you completed your exams an eternity ago is half over and university is already on the horizon. It’s an exciting time and whilst you ought to enjoy your summer after having worked so hard for so long, there is much to be done, and sometimes the thought of preparing for university life, both the academic and social side of it, can be daunting. Now I’m no expert by any means, but hopefully this post will give you some pointers on how to prepare for university and go about things as you anticipate the start of the next academic year…
1. Look Over Module Choices and Read Ahead
As nerdy as it may seem, looking through the range of modules offered by your course and reading into them will actually help you tonnes before you head into uni, especially since, being a step up from A-levels, some of the ideas and content may be unfamiliar. Now, I’m not saying you should go and learn everything about a certain topic, but maybe look into it so you’re not feeling completely lost when you’re thrown into lectures. It’s also a great help if you’re doing a course that has large amounts of recommended reading, such as English or Law, wherein a vast amount of required texts are covered throughout the smester. Here, getting ahead will help you stay on top of and manage your workload in the future months, and hopefully will get you into a good habit too!
2. Learn to Cook, Wash and Make Your Bed
Okay so that last one is a joke, I’m sure you can already make your bed (even if you do have to wrestle with those pesky fitted sheets!), but learning how to make basic dishes and launder clothes on your own will help you not only save money (because takeaways be getting hella expensive) but also prevent you shrinking your favourite garments in the wash because you didn’t know what setting to put them on (I know people who have lost a few jumpers to this, I tell you: it’s REAL). Now you don’t have to reach “Mum-level,” but I suggest that you start to familiarise yourself with a few processes: cooking, basic washing, ironing etc so that when you get to uni you don’t find yourself hopelessly lost when you’re faced with such tasks. And whilst you may find you’re not necessarily a natural cook after a few runs, fret not! Practice makes perfect, just keep at it!
3. Get Social and Start Chatting With Your Peers
A lot of the time, students on Facebook set up groups or chats to connect with peers on their course before university starts so they can get to know each other and ask questions about content and syllabi. I know the University of Nottingham have a lot of pages/groups that do these, and I even remember being part of one where students could find their hall-mates prior to the start of term. Alternatively, you can also look into student societies that you’re interested in and join their chats so you can get to know a little bit more about who they are, what they do and how they function as a community. An incredibly, incredibly useful way to ease yourself into the social side of things and get a little more information about what to expect, and indeed what others are expecting too, and whether or not they share your excitement or worries about certain fields; social, academic or otherwise.
4. Don’t Panic; Just Get Packing!
I know just how awfully overwhelming it can feel going into university and not really knowing what to expect. But everyone is in the same boat and there are other students out there feeling both excited and nervous at the same time about the prospect if starting university oh so very soon. Yes, it may feel like a big change, but it’s also a very exciting time and there is much to look forward to as you embark into university life, so get packing!