Well it’s officially the summer holidays now and students up and down the country are waiting for their exam results. Whether they have just completed their A-Levels, college course or first year at university, they will undoubtedly be jittery about what the results-slip says, because it’ll confirm the path that their life will take over the coming years. I remember getting my exam results all those years ago and realising that they meant I had definitely got my place at university and could start planning for the big move. My little sister is expecting her results this summer (good luck sis, I know you’ll do great!) and this too will dictate what course she will be studying and where she will be living for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, I wanted to give students some of my tips for making the next move to college or university and hopefully make things a little easier!
Exam results – If you don’t get the results that you want, it really is not the end of the world, believe me! Although your life plan might have made a quick change of direction, this gives you a chance to re-evaluate what you want to do and where you want to live – maybe take a year out, maybe work for a year to save some cash or there are 100s places available on other university and college courses that are available through the UCAS “clearing” service. So your exam results are only the start of a new adventure!
Starting your course – This is your chance to make a good first impression, not only on your tutors (don’t forget they’ll be marking your work, so be nice!), but also your fellow students. So even though you might not know anyone yet, walk into your first class with your head held high and smile. Sit next to someone rather than sitting on your own and introduce yourself (My fabulous friend Jenna caught my eye on the first day by using a pen with a massive flower on the top and that was a good ice-breaker!). You know that you’ve already got something in common with these people (you’re studying on the same course, after all!) so chat about your shared interest in the subject and you’re well on your way to creating a new group of partners in crime.
Where to live – If your university or college offers halls of residence accommodation, it’s a good idea to live there with your fellow students if you can. This will give you the chance to socialise with a different group of students other than those on your course, and you’ll all be able to keep an eye out for each other. Don’t just sit in your room though – make the effort to hang-out in the kitchen or common room, and chat to other students! You never know, but these same people you meet in halls could be attending your 10th wedding anniversary in many years’ time (I’m talking about you, Suzanne!). Another option is getting a shared house rental, and this is especially popular with second-year students who already have a group of friends that they want to live with. A good place to look for rentals is through the university itself, or Rentify advertises its properties on Zoopla, so you can easily find the right location with the right number of bedrooms for you and all your pals.
Family life – If you’re living away from home try to stay avoid going back home in the first month or two of university. A lot of homesickness can be overcome simply by getting on with your course and new social life, and just put your family and life back home out of your mind. If you head home too soon, you may give in to the homesickness and never go back to college! Just stick with it and think about how nice it’ll be when you’re reunited with your family during reading week!
I hope that my tips will give you a good start when you head to university or college and you can look forward to getting your exam results in the next couple of weeks, knowing that it’ll be the start of something fun, whatever you choose to do!