University Tips Blog
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A headshot image of the author, Sophie Threlfall

by Sophie Threlfall

Student Recruitment Manager – Manchester, Chester & Liverpool at the University of Law

posted on 18 Dec '23

How you can make the most of university

Move away from home and explore

By the time you are 18 years old, you may have outgrown your home town and perhaps you would like to study somewhere new. If that is the case, there are hundreds of universities to choose from in the UK alone, so you will have a lot of opportunities available to you – both close to home and those further away.

If personal circumstances allow, you may wish to consider moving away from home, into supported student halls of residence as a first-year student. What better way to meet new people and make new friends, than moving to an entirely new place that you will have three years (in most cases) to explore and get to know! It is also a great way to meet different people from diverse backgrounds from both around the UK and further afield.

You may also wish to explore places and travel as much as you can; you may discover some hidden gems in different parts of the country you have never heard of along the way!

Try something new – student societies

University is about continuing to discover who you are, so you shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. There are many societies and sports clubs to join and become part of, so if you have always fancied giving something a go, university provides the perfect opportunity to try it. Being part of a society or club is also a great way to meet like-minded people and get involved in social activities.

It is important that you strike the right balance between studying and recreational activities, your mental, physical and social wellbeing are all important, so scheduling downtime alongside studying is an absolute must.

You don’t need to go directly to university

Of course, some students don’t choose to go directly to university. Anyone can have a change of direction in the future and return to study as a mature student, so you may wish to have a break between studies now, and potential studies in the future.

Relish opportunities

Universities know that it can be hard for students to find their feet in their first year, so there are always plenty of welcome activities and on-campus events for you to attend to ease the transition.

You should try to take advantage of suitable opportunities that come your way – you’re only young once! It is a really good idea for new students to attend university events such as welcome week, fresher’s fairs and comedy and live music nights.

Whether it be field trips or a year in industry or abroad that might come your way, you should make the most of these opportunities while you can. New experiences outside of your comfort zone, including volunteering or finding part-time work will support your resilience and employability skills.

Once you’re studying, if you feel you would be able to speak confidently about your course and university experience to prospective students, you could enquire about becoming a course representative or being part of the student ambassador scheme to support with university open events and more.

Be mindful

If you start university, you should not put too much pressure on yourself. University can be a fantastic experience, but you shouldn’t try and do everything at once, you should pace yourself and set specific time aside for relaxation as well as study..

At university there are different support networks to support you, both personally and professionally. If you find yourself struggling, you should not suffer in silence, so please ask for any help if you ever need it. As universities, we want to ensure students make the most of their time at university, so please seek out any support you may need.

Be frugal

The money saving possibilities as a student are endless, but the more disposable income you have, the better! You may wish to consider study locations where your money will go further, and I would suggest bigger food shops at cheaper supermarkets to last longer, rather than shopping in smaller convenience stores.

You might want to consider investing in a student union card and use this for discounts on local leisure activities, shopping and restaurants as well. If you’re going to be using the train, it is well worth investing in a 16-25 rail card to save 1/3 off rail travel. Remember students are also exempt from paying council tax.

One final tip on this subject, if you are in self- catered university accommodation, cooking skills would also be very handy before you move in!

What does the future hold as a graduate?

Although none of us can predict the future, we can be as savvy as possible when making informed choices of where and what to study. Lots of graduates secure employment near to where they studied or perhaps where they have undertaken a year in industry. So both of these opportunities can lead to many positive connections.

You may also wish to look at labour market information to predict growing graduate job market opportunities as well.

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