Adjusting to Uni
We’ve given you some advice on adjusting to halls, but what about Uni life in general? After all not everybody chooses to live in halls, and there are still some adjustments to make. Whether you’re straight out of A-Levels or you’re re-entering education after some time off, Uni will always be different from what you’ve experienced up to now, even if they’re only small changes. So we’ve put together a list of what to expect and how to adjust to any changes you might struggle with.
You’ve probably been told this plenty of times before, but learning at Uni is very different to that you’ve previously experienced. If your idea of independent learning is revising, then you may be in for a bit of shock. Reading around the subject is so important, so if you’re lecturer gives you a reading list, make sure you pay it some attention. It really is the best way to improve your grades, as whilst lectures are informative they are time restricted and often a topic is only really skimmed upon. If you’re focusing your work on a specific topic you’ve covered in lecture, read about it. Those six power point slides will not be sufficient. Trust me.
Just remember the freedom you have should be used wisely, just because a lecturer hasn’t demanded you read a book, or done something by a certain date, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it at all.
I mentioned this before in my ‘Halls’ article, in terms of befriending flatmates. But whether you’ve moved into halls and or you’re a Derby local that’s lived here forever and already has plenty of friends, making friends on your course is still important. Often your flat won’t always have anybody from the same course as you, so although it’s sometimes more difficult to make friends in a classroom setting, it’s a good idea to try. Making friends on your course is incredibly helpful, not only will it enable you to do things outside your flat or usual circle but it’s also useful for study. Getting along with classmates makes it easier to do group work, study together and help each other out.
Top Tip: Societies and Sports Clubs are also great for meeting new people (Don’t try to take on too many, you will exhaust yourself)
Adjusting to your surroundings is probably the biggest factor when it comes to starting Uni. Whether it’s just a new building or an entire city you’ve got to learn, it can still be a bit daunting. Luckily the Uni buildings themselves are quite well signposted and you should have a map as part of your information packs. Don’t be afraid to ask someone if you are lost though, believe me it’s embarrassing walking all the way up to the 9th floor and getting out of breath, only to find out the lift was around the corner. As for the city itself, well that’s a little trickier, although you are in luck as we have a relatively small city centre. It’s important to learn the basics first, like where you’re local food shop is. But if you’re branching out then our articles from earlier this week may help as we discuss places to see and places to drink.
A common problem for new starters, especially those starting in a new city is loneliness and homesickness. These feelings are to be expected and there are plenty of ways of dealing with it and lots of help available from the Uni. The Student Wellbeing team are happy to offer advice, no matter your issue, and also provide counselling and further support if you need any.
As previously mentioned, there’s plenty of opportunity to make friends at university and many of you won’t struggle to meet new people. However, for those of you moving to Derby from other towns and cities, your friends and family back home are only a phone call away, and keeping in touch whilst you’re away from home can help if you’re feeling stressed or a bit down. Plus, visits from friends you haven’t seen for a while can sometimes be that bit more special, having a good catch up can be a great way to ease the pressure of adapting to a new place.