Don’t worry that’s quite normal! It can an exciting, overwhelming, scary and freeing experience. You’re not alone – all new university students will be feeling a mix of emotions (whether they admit to it or not!). Find out below if it could be an option for you...

Worry 1: Meeting new people

The main thing to think about is that everyone is in the same position – and part of the initial university experience will be throwing together lots of different groups of people from Freshers’ Fairs to halls of residence, lectures and clubs and societies. You don’t need to stay with the same group of people for the whole time – and you’ll pick up new friends throughout the whole of your university stay.

What can you do:

  • Go and try out new societies, groups and clubs. Have they got a Dress like a Martian club? Why not check out some of the more whacky clubs or try a new sport…
  • Hang out in the social zones, bars and pubs – they’ll all run “getting to know you” type of events
  • Prop your door open so you’ll meet your neighbours. Bonding over a biscuit always works!

Worry 2: Cooking

Not everyone is the most experienced chef when they head off to uni, for some the limit is a Pot Noodle. And it’ll get quite boring eating those three times a day…

What can you do:

  • Before you leave home try learning some basic recipes (there’s some great websites and apps out there), or ask your mum to show you how to prepare some dishes. Cooking for your new friends can also be a great way of meeting new people! (Think potential Mexican night with moustaches and sombreros)

Worry 3: Keeping up with the workload

It’ll probably be a different style of teaching than at school – and it’ll be a step up in independence and you’ll need to find things out for yourself. You’ll have to write more academic essays, conduct research and contribute to group discussions.

What can you do:

  • Don’t worry – no one is going to expect you to write a 100 page document within your first 10 minutes of arriving. Your lecturers will work with you to adjust, and they’ll be online resources available to point you in the right direction
  • Have confidence in your own academic ability. They wouldn’t have offered you a place if they didn’t think you could do the course! The first year is mainly about bringing everyone up to the same level.

Worry 4: Missing home

A common worry – and everyone will feel it to an extent. It could also be your first time living away from home.

What can you do:

  • Make sure you have Skype or Facetime so you can chat easily and cheaply with your friends and family
  • Get involved in what’s going on around you. Sitting hiding in your duvet in your room with the door closed is just going to make you dwell on everything! Grab someone in your halls and go for a coffee.
  • Keep in touch with your friends who have stayed at home, and at other universities. After all, you’ll need a social life during holidays and when you finish your course!

Worry 5: Money, money, money!

There are a lot of expenses to think about, but with careful planning and some budgeting you should still be able to have a decent social life, as well as keep on top of those essential outgoings.

What can you do:

  • Check out if you’re eligible for any grants and bursaries – the university will be able to help you find out more information about these
  • Sign up to all student discounts and schemes – from NUS to Spotify and Amazon, they all have student specific discounts. Some student bank accounts offer deals on travel and transport too
  • Prepare in advance – get yourself a part-time job during your A levels or in the summer before you go. It may seem a bit dull saving up, but you’ll definitely appreciate it when you’re a student!
  • Check out part-time jobs while you’re there – they’ll have flexible hours and days to suit your studies. Make sure you have a part-time or temporary job lined up at home for the holidays too!
  • Budget – make sure you have your core things paid for like accommodation and travel. Draw up a reasonable list of other outgoings, see if you can save any money (like that £60/month gym membership at home…) and set aside money for food and social life. Check out the budget ranges in supermarkets, and their discounted food. There’s some great budgeting apps too.

If you're a member of MidKent College, there are an endless number of resources available including help and advice should you need it. Regardless of whether you're an electrical installation student or on a public services study programme, let us know how we can help.