University Tips Blog
A group of university students
A headshot image of the author, Liv Squires

by Liv Squires

Senior Student Recruitment Officer at Solent University, Southampton

posted on 21 Jun '24

Student life at university – what’s it all about?

Whether they choose to move away or commute from home, going to university means life takes a different turn for many students. Here, I will cover a few key things which may be helpful during conversations with your students about student life.

Researching universities

Throughout the application process and enrolment week, students are encouraged to carry out research about their university options. If students are unfamiliar with the location, then the first year will be a time of discovery – all about exploring new surroundings and activities to get involved in. One tip would be to simply Google search ‘top 10 things to do’ in the city or ‘top 10 things to do’ near their university. It can give an insight into what’s available around them and could help them finalise their UCAS choices, especially if they’re feeling torn.

Giving societies a go

Students don’t have to do any societies! But what I always encourage – speaking from my own experience as someone who used to be quite shy and nervous, is just to give it a go! Assure students that there’s never any pressure to get involved – they don’t have to adopt a party lifestyle if that isn’t something they enjoy – but there’s usually something to suit everyone. Extra-curricular activities are also a fantastic addition to their CV.

Money, money, money!

Budgeting! It’s definitely a part of navigating life as a student. If students haven’t had sole management of their money before or haven’t had as many financial responsibilities, this is a great stepping stone to introducing them to daily, weekly and monthly costs. To prepare, we recommend encouraging students to carry out budgeting activities by getting them to research how much the average student food shop is or asking them to produce the cheapest total for a mock shopping list. This can give them some idea of what they’ll need to consider, especially if they choose to live away from home. However, if students do ever find themselves struggling, help is always available.

Reaching out

My final piece of advice is to reach out to universities in relation to student life. Make sure students ask questions, it doesn’t matter what they are! Questions about their chosen course are important, but so are questions about life outside their studies. We encourage prospective students to engage with current students, after all, these are the people experiencing it first-hand. Simple questions such as ‘what do you do in your spare time?’, ‘how do you find living away from home?’, ‘what’s the accommodation like?’ are a good place to start.

Each student’s experience will be unique to them and it’s something to be excited about. The recipe for a happy and wholesome student life is that the course is right, the location interests them and they can truly picture themselves living there. If students take time and give consideration to these things, they’re already on the road to success!

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