Preparing for uni: student top tips

Starting university is an exciting adventure but it can also be quite daunting. So we’ve asked some of our current students to share their advice and top tips for preparing for uni.

Isabelle, 2nd Year, Biology

The best thing you can do to prepare for university is to throw yourself into the experience of Freshers’ week wholeheartedly. The people and the place are new and scary but its also the first clean slate you’ve probably had since moving to high school.

Embrace the opportunity to create something new for yourself. It’s a place where you can create the exact environment you want and meet all these incredible people.

Laura, 2nd Year, English

Starting university is initially more about learning to survive independently than it is about doing your course.

  • Make sure to bring everything you think you may need.
  • Practice cooking different things and planning meals.
  • Learn how to clean and get into the habit of cleaning up after yourself.

Feeling homesick is natural for most people. I personally avoided visiting my family or having them come to me during the first term, so that I didn’t unsettle myself. Make sure to confide in your friends about how you’re feeling, they probably feel the same as you!

Flynn, 2nd Year, Environmental Science

  • If you’re feeling homesick, remember that it’s natural.
  • It’s worth chatting with your college tutor or STYC (second and third year student mentors) on your first day if you’re feeling overwhelmed – they help so much!
  • Focus on making your room super cute & explore your new town!

Rebecca, 2nd Year, Psychology

So when you start uni it’s obviously slightly nerve-wracking. I think the best advice is to throw yourself into every activity; whether it’s a Freshers’ event, a society or an invite from people you barely know.

I made some great friends in my first week of university and joined the societies I am still part of now (in second year).

Eve, 1st Year, Sociology

I think one thing that is important to remember is that university is new for everyone. Everyone is in the same boat, and that is something that can be really comforting to know. Knowing this makes it a lot easier to open up to other people if you are finding something difficult (for example homesickness). Chances are most people are feeling the same as you.

Also, try to have a go at lots of different things. Have societies in mind that you might want to join and try out lots of different experiences that the university has to offer if you feel they would suit you!

Sophie, 2nd Year, History

I was really nervous before starting university, but I was surprised at how quickly I was able to adjust to uni life.

The first term, especially Freshers’ Week, was packed full of exciting events and meeting new people. So the 10 weeks up to the Christmas holidays flew by! I have felt a lot less homesick than I expected to – I find FaceTime makes it feel like I still get to see my parents. Plus, the terms go so quickly that it never feels like long since I last saw them. You can definitely expect to be busy when you start uni but you can also expect to have lots of fun.

I bought some student recipe books to prepare for living independently and found them really helpful for cheap, simple recipes. Also, I did lots of online research about what to buy and pack for uni. I wrote a big list at the start of the summer of all the things I needed to get.

Beth, 2nd Year Bioarchaeology

Most people feel homesick in the first week of university and try not to show this to anybody else, giving the illusion that no one is.

I was extremely homesick and thought I had made the wrong choice going to university – don’t worry, I’m not trying to scare you! I got through this by keeping busy and meeting new people. Personally, I don’t like drinking or going out clubbing so I made friends by going to college events and playing lots of board games.

I’m at the end of my second year now. I miss my family sometimes but I talk to them on the phone a lot and have so much fun at university that I don’t get properly homesick anymore. When I go home, I miss York and all my friends here!

Read our other student blogs about preparing for university

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Hi, we're all current students here at York. In our own words, we'll give you an authentic insight into what life as a York student is really like.