How to Prepare for University First Year



How to Prepare for University First Year

Congratulations, you have won your place at university and now you have received the documentation that you need to sign – but wait – before scribbling your name without a second thought, make sure that you read your Student Agreement (sometimes called Student Contract) very well. This is a legal document – it forms the contract between you and your university that you have to adhere to for the next three or four years. We all know that you must never sign a legal document without knowing the contents, and this is exactly what it is. Remember that knowledge is always power and this is a clear example of this. A Student Agreement not only legally binds you to a contract with your university, but it is also a great source of information as it gives you guidance as to what your role as a student is and what your university expects from you – so read it very carefully.

My next tip before your academic year starts is to sit down and think – this sounds easy doesn’t it? But done correctly it is actually very important. So think about how you learned at school, what were you good at, what weren’t you so good at, what are your study skills like? Think about what you can do to fill any gaps you may have, for example if you are a bit weak in English language or maths, have a look on the internet there are so many free resources that you can access. Be proactive and honest with yourself and use your time wisely. You are now moving to an independent model of learning and the person who needs to know you best is yourself. Get to know your strengths and weaknesses and put an improvement plan in place.

My third tip is about resilience. Think about someone in life that you admire, it may be a friend, a family member, someone famous-what is it that you admire about them, is their insightful thinking, their ability to solve problems, their patience, their depth of knowledge-watch and learn from them. Don’t look at yourself and think ‘I can never do that’, or ‘I can never be that’, think yes ‘I can be that’, yes ‘I can do that’. Observe and learn how people do things, how they become better. Life is very much about resilience, this past year has shown us this. Make resilience part of your mindset and when problems come your way know that you will overcome them

My final tip in this article for you wonderful students is to think positively. It is easy to let life get on top of you, especially after the really tough Covid year that we have all experienced. By you heading for university you are creating a new start which lays down the foundations for your fantastic future. This is your new beginning, this is where you have the opportunity to grow, develop and spread your wings and further develop the amazing person you are and create an impressive professional persona. What a wonderful, exciting opportunity you have ahead of you – so from me to you, best of luck with your journey.

If you would like further information on my tutoring and mentoring services have a look at the links below

Dr Caroline Holden is a university student success specialist who spent many years in Bahrain and now has her own company in the UK helping students and advising institutions on academic success at university.