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…
1. FreedomFreedom is your new best friend – more than half of the 2012 freshers we spoke to told us they found living away from home easier than expected. But all that independence could easily become your nemesis.
You have the opportunity to mould the way you live and study. Just make sure that you leave room for a degree in the midst of everything university offers, try to find a balance between work and play – and keep on top of your student budget!
2. Coping with information overloadHaving spent the past couple of years working towards AS, A-levels or Highers, you may feel you deserve a rest. However, you'll soon find that uni moves at speed, rapidly covering vast subject areas.
3. Staying self-motivated
Despite what you might have heard, lectures aren't a waste of time – 44% of 2012's freshers told us they found lectures more interesting that they thought they would!
However, 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 keeping yourself motivated and on track.
4. Managing your workloadYou might be surprised at how little contact time you have at first. Perhaps there's just a weekly tutorial on top of a few lectures. But don't be fooled. Lecturers expect you to be doing a lot of the legwork yourself and reading throughout the semester, instead of cramming just before exams.
5. DomesticityIf you want clean clothes, food on the table or a room you're not ashamed to entertain in, 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 opportunityMost universities boast that if you can't find an activity on offer, you can start it yourself. You will be inundated with clubs, societies and sports teams angling for your presence.
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 - or a really unusual society like the Assassins' Guild (intrigued?).
Getting stuck into extra-curricular activities could be great for enhancing your CV, too. Having said that, don't join loads of societies and clubs for that factor alone...