Brace yourselves, various cities of the UK… the students are back to university.

Over the past few weeks, tens of thousands of students descended on their chosen institution to begin or continue their university lives.  There’ll was the Fresher’s Fairs and parties to go to – not to mention the talks, lectures and continuation of courses to deal with, naturally.

Of course, it’s not just the students who have to think about many different things – you’ve got parents and staff too who have to think about what they’re doing with and without the students.  You’ll be amazed how much planning and preparation has to get done.

Returning to university is a really exciting experience after a summer you likely spent with your parents.  Getting some time to yourself, seeing your friends again… it’s all rather liberating.

Here are some of the things that I think of when we all talk about getting back to university.

Your friends

After a summer away from all of your mates, it’s so good to get back and see people and shake a few hands again.  Some of you might have met up over the summer, but it’s somewhat different when you get back together.

You may well have decided to live with some of your mates then having them about on a day-to-day basis might be a somewhat different experience.  Whilst they’re your mates, you have to consider your responsibilities as a house-mate.  Everyone has to pull their weight to help with the upkeep of the apartment or house you live in – don’t let one thing get in the way of another.

Your new home

If you’re living in the same place, a bit of familiarity is going to help you a lot through the early part of your year.  Certainly for me it was great to go back to the same accommodation block at the beginning of my second year as it just seemed to feel like home.  That said, something different and new can be quite exciting.

New flatmates is always a nervous experience but you needn’t worry – just having an open mind and being enthusiastic about being around new people is going to be so rewarding.  Eventually it’ll all pay off and you’ll have some new friends no problem.

Of course, if you’re back with familiar faces that helps greatly.

Just make sure that you know what to expect from living somewhere new and what’s expected of you as a tenant.  You have rights, yes… but you also have responsibilities and things to make sure you do.  Ask your landlord about anything if you’re not sure about things.

Your course

Wow, once you’ve moved in and had a night out you could be mistaken in thinking the year ahead is going to be a doddle.  True is, it isn’t – you’ve got things to study for and you have to understand how to move on with your course.

Your course is the real reason why you’re at university so keep your goals in sight and what you want to achieve.  It’s likely that during Fresher’s Week you’ll have a welcome talk to go to – it’s quite important you get down to business promptly and not get caught up in all the trappings of partying for too long. Your welcome talk will likely teach you about the regulations and rules for this year and who will be around to contact you in the event of an issue.  It might sound boring but you never know and genuinely they can be rather helpful.

It’s always a step up from the previous year, I can promise you that.  You are really going to need to sit down and take some time refreshing yourself on what you learnt last year – it’ll all prove crucial later.

Sports, societies and social living

For me one of the highlights of getting back to university for me is getting back into sport and seeing my mates from American Football.  It’s a time to get back to training and getting into the gym.  It’s not just a chance to play sport and represent your university, it’s also a chance to get healthier and fitter – usually shedding the pounds from being with the parents for the last three months…

For me I’ve worked a bit over the summer to make sure that I’m ready but there are usually programmes designed to get you ready for the season ahead.  Your sports centre or even Student’s Union might organise events to help you so if you take your sport seriously you might find these benefits to you.

Societies are a great way to meet new people and joining something different may well really help you with your course.  You’ll find that the vast majority of courses and degrees have a society associated with them that you can use to meet people.  Certainly for me I’ve signed up to the Business Society to help with my course and interest.

All of these things, in my view, are key points that are things to look forward to.  It’s not always easy leaving your family but every year I remind myself why I go back – and that is to have a great time and further my education.  University is the greatest experience a young person can make in my view and so getting back to your adventure is one of the greater feelings you get from your year.

What I will say is that university is not all fun and it can be quite stressful at times, especially when deadlines are closing.  With that in mind, you need to settle down into your new year and make sure you’re not going to be at a disadvantage.




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