How to Manage the Shift from School to University Life


It is undeniable that the transition from school to university, whilst exciting, can be quite a turbulent experience. Don’t be alarmed by this – it is a completely normal rite of passage! However, these tips may help you make this transition a bit smoother as you adapt to university life…

1. Make Use of Academic Support

The academic shift at university can be quite a shock to the system – maybe you have never used a footnote before, or are absolutely baffled by the library cataloguing system. Even when you have anticipated the academic challenge of university, it can still be a difficult thing to adapt to. The key to conquering this is to make use of any academic support you might need; this may include going to lecturers’ office hours, attending any extra sessions to support you with assignments and exams, or making use of the various academic support sessions in Hartley Library. Your personal academic tutor will be able to direct you to any specific support you might need – never be afraid to ask!

2. Socialise
Okay, this might sound terrifying to some of you, but socialising and making friends is one of the most important ways to adjust to university life. If you have moved away from home, you might find it challenging to be away from your usual support system – whilst your friends and family are just a text or phone call away, it helps to have people around you, too. University offers so many opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. Make use of every opportunity for this – talk to your flatmates, talk to people in your classes, and join any societies that pique your interest.
It might sound easier said than done, but if you put yourself out there, you just might meet some great people, and even pick up a new skill or hobby in the process. Once you have friends around you, the familiarity will help ease the transition to university life.

3. Explore the City
Exploring your new surroundings is so important if you have moved to Southampton from somewhere else. After all, you aren’t just settling into your course and the university itself – you are also adapting to an entirely new environment. Yes, this is daunting, but it is also so exciting! Take the time to familiarise yourself with the city, and with what Southampton has to offer.
Whether you like having wild nights out or prefer more relaxed activities, you’ll find fun things to do and places to go, which will help you feel more at home and help you to adapt to uni.

4. Enjoy your independence!
Possibly the biggest change during the transition to university is the sudden influx of independence, which comes with a multitude of both pros and cons. The sudden responsibility can be scary. You are totally responsible for the running of your own life; it is now on you if you eat properly, have clean clothes, or make it out of the door in time for your 9am seminar. But if you look at it from a different angle, this independence is massively exciting – you can do whatever you want!
Establishing a routine can be a good way to adapt to your new responsibilities – maybe set a certain day for your food shop, or your laundry, to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. This will also help you learn one of the most essential skills for succeeding at university: effective time management. As you settle into routines and become more acquainted with your new daily tasks, the adaptation process will get much smoother.


Third year English with History student.

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