Transitioning from school to University

10 June 2024

Lot's of students hanging out on the grass at Penryn campus.
Penryn campus group of students on grass
Type: Text
Category: Student finances

This article was written by Business & Entrepreneurship BSc(Hons) student Esme.

Moving from school to university can seem like a really daunting change, so in this blog post I will share my experience on the transition, as well as give some tips and advice to help you, if you are feeling nervous or apprehensive about the move to university.

There are two main sides to the transition from school to university, the academic transition and the social transition. The academic transition may seem like the biggest difference between school and university. At university, you are naturally more self-guided than school and you are expected to be more independent when researching and conducting work. This doesn’t mean that you don’t get constant support from your lecturers, you are just given the freedom to explore and research around your subject. It does however, mean that you need to be a little more disciplined with work, as university has a less rigid structure than school. Personally, this freedom has been a great opportunity for me to really delve into and explore my subject area and I have gained so many useful insights and ideas that have elevated my academic work. I also believe that university is less pressured than school and A-levels as you don’t have a set time in the day where your work must be done. I love being able to attend my lectures, and depending on what I’m doing in the day, work my research around that. This enables you to spend time with friends or have a job on the side of university work. As for the teaching differences, I personally didn’t find it too different as I was used to listening and taking notes in class. However, I found that seminars are quite different as they revolve around learning through conversation.

The second side of the transition from school to university is the social transition. This can sometimes be the most daunting as many students are coming into a new environment where they may not know anyone. This can seem really scary and overwhelming, but there are so many ways to overcome this and make friends. I believe that you have so much more freedom and opportunities at university and my advice would be to say yes to as many of these opportunities as you can, especially in Freshers' Week. But also remember to know when to have your own downtime to relax. Falmouth University has so many societies to join and meet likeminded people with the same interests as you and this also means that you can make friends outside of your course and accommodation.

Finally, I want to share some tips and tricks on making the transition between school and university, to help you settle in and get as much out of university as you can! The first would be to read around your subject as much as possible. The university library has so many resources and books to allow you to do this, but I also like to watch documentaries that relate to my subject to build my knowledge. The second tip would be to stay as organised as possible. You are much more independent at university, so it’s up to you to ensure assignments are handed in on time. However, Falmouth has so many services that can help and support you, such as academic support and mental health support. My third tip would be to stay open to spontaneity and take any opportunities that allow you to meet new people. I have the most amazing group of friends that make living in Falmouth so much fun and I met most of them through events/activities at the university, such as societies. But, also remember to make time for yourself and your own personal downtime - this ensures that you aren’t exhausting yourself physically and mentally.

I hope you have found this useful and I wish you all the best in your upcoming transition to university!

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