College to uni: seven key differences to look out for
The move from college or sixth form to uni may seem like a big change, but don't let yourself be overwhelmed.
Here are some of the key differences you'll be facing when you make the exciting leap to uni, with advice from university and school experts.
You can get really on top of things by also reading our guide to what you need to do before you go to university.
1. FreedomFreedom is your new best friend when you move away to university – but all that independence could also become your enemy if you're not careful.
You have the opportunity to choose the way you live and study. Just make sure that you leave room for a degree in the midst of everything at university, try to find a balance between work and play – and keep on top of your budget!
- Read more on The Student Room: choosing a student bank account
2. Coping with information overloadHaving spent the past couple of years working towards A-levels or other qualifications, you may feel you deserve a rest. However, you'll find that uni moves at speed – rapidly covering different subject areas.
3. Staying self-motivated
When it comes to lectures and seminars, no-one is going to make sure you're slumped in a seat at 9am on a Monday morning. You don't have to answer to anyone but yourself; take responsibility early on for staying motivated.
Read more on The Student Room: 10 things students weren't expecting when they started uni
4. Managing your workloadYou might be surprised at how little contact time you have at uni. You may only have a weekly tutorial on top of a few lectures – but there's a reason for this.
Lecturers expect you to be doing a lot of the legwork yourself and reading throughout the term, instead of cramming just before exams.
5. DomesticityIf you want clean clothes, food on the table or a room you're not embarrassed about, you'll have to brush up on your domestic skills.
Alana, a law student from Glasgow, recommends knowing exactly what washing powder looks like as her flatmate discovered she'd been washing her clothes purely in fabric softener for the first month of living in halls...
6. Endless opportunitiesMost universities say that if you can't find an activity on offer, you can start it yourself – but you will be swamped with clubs, societies and sports teams getting you to sign-up.
You might be the only one in your flat who wants to try something, but don't let a lack of company stop you. This is the time to take up fencing or join the Jane Austen book club.
Getting stuck into extracurricular activities could be great for boosting your CV too.
- Read more: what your students' union can do for you
7. 24/7 socialisingUniversity offers you the chance to meet people from all over the world – it can feel like a constant social whirlwind and often takes time for you to feel settled.
- Read more on The Student Room: 63 things students wish they'd known before uni