How to Prepare for Starting University

University students sat outside

If you’re heading to university in the Autumn, how are you feeling about starting? Stressed? Confused? Overwhelmed? If any of those words sound familiar, fear no more! Here’s our guide on how to prepare for starting at uni this year.

Rest and recuperate

If you haven’t seen our post from a few weeks ago about de-stressing, reading it here makes a good place to start. It’s no use going to university still buzzing from the IB!

It’s important to rest and reset yourself, and quiet down all of the noise that might be in your head. This means you’ll be more receptive to all of the new information you’ll be presented with in autumn. Trust us, there’ll be a lot of it!

Establish a university mindset

Don’t underestimate the difference a healthy mindset can make. Try to re-frame your perception of the difficult things you come up against. This could be as simple as saying “challenging” instead of “stressful” to describe your first week at uni.

The university experience is, first and foremost, a fantastic opportunity to keep learning. You will make mistakes, and you will find it difficult at times. With a fresh, new university mindset, however, we’re sure you’ll take it in your stride.

Know what’s expected of you

At school, we get given tasks, we do the tasks, we get a grade, and that’s it. At university it works rather differently…

University won’t spoon-feed you information, and instead the course webpages will become your best friend (hopefully not literally). As early as possible, try to familiarise yourself with the syllabi and curriculum for your subject(s), and pay extra attention to deadlines!

Do you have to register for your lectures and exams long in advance? Is registration for the exam automatic, or should you sign up for that separately? This summer serves as a great opportunity to get to know the modus operandi of your future uni.

Starting university = more deadlines

If there’s one thing you take away from this weeks blog post, please let it be this: Get to know your deadlines, and write them down somewhere you won’t forget them! You wouldn’t believe the amount of wasted hours and energy – all at the hands of forgotten registration deadlines.

Don’t think!

It seems like every week we tell you to plan, and, well, this week is no different! Checklists are a great tool for removing some of the mental load from your brain.

The brain is a truly amazing thing, but sometimes it just doesn’t play ball. Much like a computer, our brains only have a relatively small short-term memory, which is where lists come in handy – and what’s better, a lot of them are already made for you!

For example, this extensive list from The Student Room should mean that there’s no need to keep track of everything you’ll need to bring to your new home. Try to create your own lists – e.g. “Things to do before moving to university” might include cancelling your gym membership, or researching which extracurricular clubs and societies might take your fancy.

Wrapping up

The headline today, however, is that you should enjoy this summer and use it to relax. It’s not good for anyone to be starting university as stressed as you were in the last week of the IB. And, in the name of preventing future stress, look ahead in good time and start thinking about how you want your future student life to be.

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