Regardless of your age, enrolling on a higher education course in the UK could be the best move you’ll ever make. This is a very big step for everyone and often proves to be life changing, but thousands of people do it each year so don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone. Of course there are going to be many shocks to your system, and you’ll need to adjust quickly, however; opportunities will increase almost instantly, and this should give you the encouragement you need to knuckle down and get on with things. So, whether you’re 18 and just out of high school, or even if you’re 50 and sick of the dead end job you’ve been in for the last 30 years, attending university is sure to open many new doors.
In most cases, you’ll need preliminary qualifications to be accepted, although entry for some subjects can be gained through the completion of a short booster course for mature students. Younger people will be expected to have A-levels or the equivalent in their chosen area, but as most teens with university ambitions will have done this at sixth form or college, it’s usually not a major problem. Still, the whole process can be a little stressful, which is why I’m writing this article today in an attempt to bring certain things to your attention and give you some good advice before you make the move.
Some people do better than others at higher education, and in my own opinion, this is usually down to lack of foresight and not quite understanding what the road ahead contains. You might think the next few years are going to be a walk in the park without the need to engage in the working world, but this is almost never the case, and indeed, many students find themselves on the receiving end of a short, sharp shock. To avoid this happening to you, take a moment to read through the following paragraphs, and I’ll try to give you a heads up about some of the things you need to consider.
First Impressions Say More Than You Might Imagine – Especially During Freshers Week
The first week of university is known as “freshers” in the UK, and depending upon your age and which establishment you attend, this could be relatively insignificant or majorly important. Most young people enjoy this time as it allows them to slowly ease themselves into the uni life and meet lots of new friends. Older people tend not to engage quite as much because let’s face it; we’ve been there before. Even so, this is the first time you’ll meet the people you’re likely to spend at least the next 3 years with, so the last thing you want to do is show yourself up.
I actually have a friend who attended freshers week at a West Midlands university only a year or so ago, and because he has trouble holding his drink, and due to the fact he was found asleep with his face pressed against a wheelie bin on the Friday morning, other students gave him a rather insulting nickname that still hasn’t died down. The last thing you want is for people to call you Compo for the next 3 years, right?
Also, there are many different classes of people who attend freshers week, and ideally you’d like to attract the most intelligent people who are the hardest workers into your group of friends. This is because the social element of university should be considered just as important as the educational one. I’m sure some people would disagree with that statement, but at the end of the day, networking is vital.
Joining Student Societies Can Make Your Time More Enjoyable And Productive
Sticking with networking for a moment, joining campus clubs or societies can open up many new opportunities. You’ll never get a better chance to meet interesting people with connections that could really help you in the future, and there will never be such a perfect time to find out what others think about the world. Our own perceptions are often distorted (as any philosopher worth their salt will tell you) and it’s only when we hear the opinions of others and consider their perceptions that we start to see things in a more accurate light.
Many students start to get an interest in politics when attending university, and although parents might not be too pleased when their son or daughter comes home to visit wearing a Che Guevara or ban the bomb t-shirt, learning about the world around you and how it’s run is always going to be a good thing. Again, older students will be less inclined to engage in this type of activity, as they should already have an understanding of UK politics and how it works. Still, with the state of our country at the moment, and our conservative government’s insistence on moving public money into the pockets of rich corporatists, we need all the revolutionary minds we can get.
Joining societies and clubs is sure to make your time at uni more enjoyable, and as the title of this section suggests, it should also help you to increase productivity due to the amount of support you’ll receive from other members. Think of them as your personal trainers, except instead of making you lift weights or run around tracks, they’ll help to ensure your brain is on top form.
Understanding The Subject You’re Studying Ahead Of Time Will Give You An Advantage
When enrolling on a course, everyone usually receives a reading list containing relevant materials that tutors or lecturers agree would benefit you. Now, there’s certainly no need to go out and spend £300 on books, as you won’t have to actually read everything on the list, but if you can find out which are the most important and get your nose in them before your first day of real education, this could assist you significantly. Likewise, it might be a good idea to get in touch with a reputable firm who can provide you with a relevant custom essay or two, just to give you some idea of the workload ahead.
Although you might think most of the learning will take place in classrooms or lecture halls, this really isn’t the case for many people, and some find it shocking when they discover just how much stuff they have to complete on their own. However, the great thing about university is that you’ve got some of the most prominent minds in the country sat waiting to help you out when you encounter issues, so it’s not all bad. The important thing is to keep a positive attitude and work hard – that mountain of assignments will get smaller; I promise.
In addition, I know people who managed to obtain volunteer work placements in the industry they were training to enter, and although you’ll probably only want to do this for one or maybe two days each week, it can be a great way of getting ahead of the pack and ensuring you understand the subject better than anyone else on your course.
Opening A Student Bank Account Can Offer Benefits To Those Who’re Struggling
Like it or not, some people come from rich backgrounds, and this means the living standards of those attending university can vary drastically. There’s bound to be some people on your course who never have to work and always have the latest fashions thanks to mommy and daddy, whereas others will have no choice but to take part time bar work or something similar to supplement their income. Sadly, most of us fit into the latter category, and so definitely need to utilise all the help available to us.
Your student loan should just about cover the cost of books and stationery (maybe even some travel if you live close by), but it’s never going to pay for you to be in the pub socialising on the weekends – this is where a student bank account can help until you find suitable work. Most banking providers offer specialist accounts that allow up to £1500 overdrafts for those attending university, so make sure you head down to see them as quickly as possible and find out what they can offer you.
All this money obviously needs to be paid back, but most providers are a little more flexible when it comes to this kind of account, and that means you really shouldn’t stress too much. I know many people who were at the limit of their overdraft for most of their time at uni, and none were ever forced to pay it back until they had gotten their qualifications.
Anyway, I really hope you’ve gained something from this article, because I’d hate to think anyone out there was getting cold feet. As I said earlier, opting to join the ranks of higher education is undoubtedly one of the most constructive things you’ll ever do, and seeing it through to the end could be one of the most difficult. Ultimately, the level of success you achieve is down to you, I just wanted to help in some small way.
Good luck with everything, I’m certain you’ll have a truly fantastic time!