Starting your first year of university can seem scary to begin with. Nerves are natural before you begin, but trust me when I tell you that this is going to be one of the best years of your life yet! You’re going to be studying something you enjoy, meeting lots of like-minded new people and trying new things.

Here are a few tips to help you get a head start on university life in your first year:

Academically Speaking…

Whilst you have a lot of time free over the summer, it’s never a bad thing to try and get some work done in advance. This doesn’t mean spending hours racing through text books, but it does mean looking into those reading lists you have been sent. If you order your books fairly early, there is a better chance that you will be able to get the editions of necessary texts. Plus, you’re going to need something to read on holiday!

Tip: Second hand books are one of your best options. So long as it is the edition you need, you can save yourself a lot of money by investing in them.

Get to know the area

Moving away from home for your first year is a big deal, so it is important that you get to know the area well sooner rather than later. By wandering around the city and exploring, you will soon be navigating your surroundings like a local. Getting lost isn’t as bad as it seems, especially not if you head out with a flat mate and a map. Find the basics to begin with, such as the supermarket or public library, before beginning to branch out. You could even make a mini bucket-list of things you want to see and attempt being a tourist for the day.

Clubs + Societies

We are all many things, so it’s important to not define yourself solely by your degree subject. Just because you want to be a teacher or a writer doesn’t mean you lose those other parts of your identity. Make the most of your abilities and talents by joining a club or society. Whether it be singing in a choir or keeping up with your swimming practice, there is something for everyone. You can find out more about your options by attending your university Fresher’s Fair. You might even come across a society for something new that you have always wanted to try.

Your Comfort zone

And finally, the matter of comfort zones. We all have one and they can often lead to us feeling shy or tentative about doing the things we’d really like to attempt. University is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone and realising that sometimes, the best adventures happen when you try out different things. You don’t need to be scared about asking questions and talking to new people, because everyone is going to be in the same boat. It is a fresh start, a new beginning, so make it count.

For more first year advice, take a look at SPG’s Habits to be More Effective.

Written By Charlotte Stevenson