Start learning to cook, clean and look after yourself before you go to university
– it makes like so much easier. Do your shop once a week and make lunch from home – £3 meal deals add up when you could make the same lunch for so much less. First Year Student, Cardiff University
Real cash will keep you in control.
Get money out in cash [rather than pay by card] so you're more aware of how much you have left. Split the cash into bills and social First Year Student, University Of Hertfordshire
Don't worry if you feel like you haven't made many friends after the first week or so. Friendship takes time – you'll find people in the same situation as you First Year Student, London South Bank University
In fact, friendships in first year are like ocean waves: they come and go...
Friendships will be quite fluid in the first year, but that's OK and isn't a negative reflection on you. In fact, it will help you find the people you really click with and who share the same values as you. So don't panic too much if you drift away from some people and towards others. First Year Student, University Of Oxford
Don't just make best friends, but the best friends.
It's easy to make friends as everybody is new to uni. But it's not easy to find like-minded people. Don’t settle for anyone as your mate. First Year Student, University Of Leeds
Watch now: Students share how they met their best friend at uni
Know when you need a break.
Learn to recognise when you're getting burnt out, and switch to a takeaway and Netflix [if you can]. It can actually be detrimental to carry on working when you’re burnt out, as the quality of your work goes downhill. First Year Student, University Of Cambridge
You DON'T have to go out every night.
It may seem like everyone is a big drinker. Some people are, but things really do quieten down after freshers' week. If you really don't want to go out, you don't have to. First Year Student, Lancaster University
Don't worry, there will always be time to have fun.
With more freedom to do what you want, it's a bit of a challenge to focus on the educational side of things rather than the social – there's a fine balance that needs to be struck. Start work as soon as you get it instead of putting it off until last minute – it'll save a lot of hassle and stress, and you'll have the free time to socialise afterwards. First Year Student, Lancaster University
Professors aren't as hands-on as your school teachers were.
Don't expect to be spoon-fed anything. Any information you require, you must find out yourself. First Year Student, University Of Essex
Build relationships with your professors.
Don't hold back – get involved in as much as you can. The more you do, the more you get recognised, the bigger your social network becomes. Academics get to know you more. As a result, [this makes them] easier to approach – [they'll be] happy to give you help and advice if needed. First Year Student, Plymouth University
Difficult topics don't disappear. Tackle them straight away.
As soon as you don't understand something, ask! There's no point hoping that it won't appear in an exam/coursework... trust me, it will! Even if it's not in that module, it will appear again and again. There's only so many times you can try to 'wing it'. First Year Student, Plymouth University
You'll probably get freshers' flu. Drag yourself to lectures.
Don't take time off at the beginning if you're sick. Try to go in everyday. First Year Student, Royal Veterinary College, University Of London
The bigger picture
Homesick early on?
If you don't want to continue, then set a goal and say [to yourself]: 'If I still don't want to stay after five weeks, then I can leave'. But stick it out for five weeks [at least]. First Year Student, University Of Bristol
Don't get caught up on FOMO – fear of missing out. Sign up to loads of things and make friends, but don't worry about what kind of experience you should be having versus what you are actually experiencing. First Year Student, University Of Cambridge
Finally, throw yourself into things (even if it's scary).
You only get out as much as you put in – with the course, the people and the experience in general. It's up to you to make it for yourself. First Year Student, Goldsmiths, University Of London
Watch now: Students reveal how uni changed them, for better and worse