Transitioning from College/Sixth Form to University

Moving from school to university is a life changing experience. For many, it’s going to be a case of upheaving their entire lives, moving across the country and living on their own for the first time. No more being spoon-fed by teachers, you are going to have to work hard and do it independently.

So, here is a list of tips to help you adapt to university life.

1)    Organise your time!

No one is going to organise your time for you so it’s crucial that you do it yourself. Look at your timetable for any classes or lectures you may have and organise your social life and any part time work around it. Remember that you can still have fun in university and live the whole university experience, but your studies must come first. Don’t organise any classes around your social life because studying should always be your top priority.

2)    Embrace being nervous!

It’s okay to be apprehensive about starting university: it would seem strange if you weren’t. Your friends have more than likely gone to different universities or gone into employment, so you will have to make new friends. Start by trying to make a couple of friends the first few weeks you are there. Having people that you can talk to will make you less apprehensive and you will end up feeling more confident about being there. If you’re in shared accommodation, then try to find out more about your roommates. Maybe introduce yourself to the people that are on your course. You’ll soon find that the nervousness you once had will wash away after a few weeks of being at university.

3)    It’s okay to make mistakes!

Everyone makes mistakes, it is only human. Now that you are in university and being independent for probably the first time in your life, you are bound to make many mistakes. But that’s okay: you’re allowed to. You may forget the deadline for an essay you have been set or you’ve forgotten to ring your parents to tell them you’ve settled in okay. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world and everyone must be new to something in their lives.

4)    The first chance is the second chance!

Unless you have a scholarship to help you with paying for your time at university, you are going to be paying upwards of £30,000. If you don’t do well, then you do not get a second chance of redoing it all for free. You’re obviously allowed to have a social life, work and generally just live the ultimate student life but you need to make sure you focus on your studies. Doing a degree is hard work. You’re no longer going to be spoon-fed like you was in school; you must be able to work independently.

5)    Motivation and Discipline!


If you’re not one that is easily motivated, then it is going to be hard to change that. You need to come up with a routine and stick to it otherwise your motivation levels are going to drop. University is stressful and there are going to be hard times where it feels like you’re heading nowhere with your work but finding motivation and applying discipline are vital. Take a minute to sit down and come up with a schedule for yourself. The more you stick with it, the easier it will be to have the motivation to study and do work.

A change as big as going to university is hard for anyone. For some, it can take a matter of days to settle in and for others, it can take months. Just remember that you’re not alone going into this and if you find yourself struggling to adjust, talk to someone.