The transition from GCSE to A Levels is a change that is often underestimated by many, particularly if you are going to the sixth form attached to your school. So it is only natural to have no clue what the transition will be from college to university. If you are planning on going to university after college, you are likely to be thinking about lots of other factors, apart from what course you want to study.
As a student just entering Year 13, there will certainly be a lot on your plate already! You will be strapped for time, as assignments, mocks and UCAS applications begin to consume most of your days. It is during this time that many of us can feel our eagerness to go to university start to dwindle. This big idea that you have been dreaming of can begin to appear like a chore. So it is important to use the end of your summer to rekindle your excitement, to help you breeze through your final year at college. Take a look at our list of things that we recommend you start planning as you enter year 13.
Accommodation is a major part of your university experience. While this is something you will select once your university place has been confirmed, it is worth thinking about which type of accommodation would suit you best. Are you a person who thrives with lots of social interaction? If so, a more communal and larger halls might suit you best. Do you hate cooking with a passion? Look into catered halls instead of non-catered ones. Maybe you enjoy your own company and prefer to spend your free time alone? There are some private rented options, or smaller halls that might suit your lifestyle more. Of course, university is a perfect time to try something new, so it could be a great chance to push yourself out of your comfort zone!
2. Studying Techniques
University life is vastly different to college life. It is even more different from sixth form, which can sometimes feel like an extension of your school life. At university, independent learning will form the majority of your study time, and is something that can take students a while to adjust to. Therefore look into taking more ownership of your studying, while also perfecting your studying techniques. At university there will be no one chasing you for your assignments, and no one checking that you have understood the previous lesson. Understanding this difference early on will help you to adjust more easily to university life.
If you have had a summer job previously, then you may be familiar with the excitement that comes with receiving your first pay slip. With the addition of Student Finance loans, you will be in charge of your finances at university. Many can feel overwhelmed at the sight of a larger amount of money than usual. Some might get too comfortable and start spending the money without a second thought. The last thing you want while navigating your way through your first year is to be worrying about money. It is so important to budget before you get to university to ensure you are comfortable with your lifestyle ahead of your move. If you are not moving out, you may have more financial freedom which can allow you to be less strict with your budget.
4. Get to know yourself
University can be a highly stimulating and exhilarating place. It can also be a touch boring when you are back to back with assignments and reports. Your first two weeks will be particularly full on, as you will be constantly meeting new people, signing up for endless societies and finding your feet in a new environment. Knowing who you are as a person, and following your interests without being influenced by others can be a hard task. Planning ahead will help you to find your genuine interests at university.
5. Set your university goals
While it can be hard to set a goal for a reality you have not lived yet, it is always good to have something to strive towards. Maybe you enjoy writing and you would like to be a committee member of the student magazine before you graduate? Or maybe you want to be able to cook a meal for your flatmates after your first year? Perhaps you would like to get a first in an important assignment, or get great feedback for a presentation? Whatever your goals may be, it is important to write them down and check back in as often as you need to. Some students can fall into the trap of coasting along and not making the most of their time at university. With your list of goals, you will be able to look back at your university experience with a smile!