Ten top tips for preparing for university

Here are ten tips for preparing for university whilst staying safe at home.

1. Check out York’s societies

Joining a society is one of the easiest ways to make friends and meet like-minded people. York has over 200 societies and clubs, so have a look and list the ones you would like to try over the first few weeks. See if the ones of interest have a social media account that you could follow.You can keep up-to-date on what the members are doing during the lockdown, and what events they have planned for next year.

2. Stay connected

The official University of York Freshers’ Facebook page will keep you in the loop on all things Freshers’ related. It can also direct you towards college and accommodation information, as well as helping you find group chats for your course. Using the official social media of the University is a great way to get to know fellow students on a casual basis.

3. Get ahead with your studies

You can be preparing for university by getting ahead with your reading and course content. If possible, order any books you can for your course. If this is not an option, research what online resources you can access for free. The British Library has lots of articles and catalogues online. Internet Archive also lets you download multiple books for free. Don’t be scared to reach out to the Uni to see if they have any suggestions on how you can suitably prepare for your course and access resources.

4. Practising study skills

Key skills for University-level study include:

  • time management
  • proof-reading
  • editing your academic writing
  • presenting an argument
  • critical thinking.

Use this time to practice these skills in simple but effective ways. For example, creating a plan for your day and sticking to its structure is showing time management. Most importantly, keep writing – whether that’s a blog post, reviewing a book, writing a short article, or making a silly presentation for friends. These activities will engage your reading, writing, and analysis skills so that you don’t feel lost when Uni starts. 

5. Take on domestic tasks

Although it sounds obvious, nobody will be there to wash up after you, clean your room, or do any chores for you at Uni. Even if you are in catered accommodation, this is only Monday to Friday. You will still need a couple of recipes to see you through the weekend! If they’re not already, try to make these small tasks part of your lockdown routine to get into the habit of doing them by yourself. 

6. Stay productive

If you feel totally clueless about independent living, ‘Learn to Adult’ is a fun podcast that guides you through different aspects of adulthood. Podcasts and Audiobooks are an easy, yet interesting way to keep yourself educated and informed. Plus, it only takes a small amount of research to find something you are interested in. The University of York even has a ‘Careers and Placement Podcast’ if you fancy being extra prepared! 

7. Try an online course

Doing an online course with relevant content could help you to maintain focus, learn new terminology, and feel excited about your upcoming degree. Even applying for an online course that is based on a random subject of interest will help you to manage time, feel productive, and focus your attention on something you enjoy. There are plenty of free short courses out there, including the University’s free online courses.

8. Organise your belongings

Usually, your Uni accommodation will not have an excessive amount of space. Whilst you are preparing for university, organise your clothes and belongings into what is definitely essential for Uni, what you would ideally like to take, and what you don’t need to take. The University has a list of things that may help you get started with this. From there, you can work out what you may need to buy for Uni before you go.

9. Research volunteering opportunities

Update your CV and start looking online for volunteering opportunities within the community. There are so many great charities in York where you can have a positive impact and gain some insightful experience. Once this is all over, continuing to help those that are most vulnerable and most affected will be really important. 

10. Don’t get too stressed

It’s easier said than done; but if you are hoping to go to Uni in September, then keep looking forward to it as much as possible! Despite the difficult circumstances, everyone at the University is working extremely hard to ensure your experience will still be a fun and fulfilling one. It may all feel uncertain at this stage in time, but focus on what you can control and take small steps towards feeling more prepared for your exciting new chapter after lockdown ends. Preparing for university whilst you have some free time will help you to feel more relaxed when the time comes.

Have a look at more blogs about what university is really like.

Published by

Eleanor Burton

Hi, my name is Eleanor and I study English Lit. I am in my third-year, which is so exciting and interesting, but also really scary to think about how quickly time has flown! I'm involved in the Derwent college committee, so I'm really keen to get more people interested and involved in their college life, as it's a great way to meet new people and actually make a difference to student life. I also volunteer with numerous charities based in York, as well as being a member of International Development Society.

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