Will it be easy to make friends?
When I first started University, I think this was my biggest worry. “Will I make friends?”, “Will I get on with people?”, “What if I don’t make many friends?”.
Luckily enough, it didn’t take me long to work out this wouldn’t be a problem.
There are three main places at university that you make friends; in your accommodation, on your course, or in a society/sports team:
Even before starting University, after being informed of your halls and room number, the number of Facebook Groups created is incredible. You can chat to numerous people that will be in the same halls as you and even the same flat, before even moving in. This makes it so much easier when it comes to moving in, as you've already gotten to know some people. This, straight away, is a great way to make friends. Living in a flat of at least 6 people, you form really good relationships with people because you’re with them most of the time.
In your accommodation there's also social spaces, and different events going on each night. This gives you a really good opportunity to mingle and hang out with other people that are living in the same accommodation as you. It is also really nice because not a day goes by where you don’t see someone new wandering around who you can get to know!
Studying for your degree is another great way to make friends. Being on a course with large groups of people and working with them most days makes it really easy to form good friendships. When you start university, and even before on your Applicant Day, your course tutors are really good at delivering activities to break the ice. These activities provide you will a great opportunity to get to know your fellow course mates, and build relationships straight away.
Sports clubs and societies are perfect places to make friends that will last you a life time. It makes sense really, as you'll all have at least one interest in common, which is great to bond over. The Freshers Fair is a great event to attend, usually taking place within the first week at uni. It provides you with the opportunity to walk around various different stalls, all of which provide you with information on all clubs and societies on offer to you at university. So if I have any advice, DEFINITELY go to this – even if you just go for all the freebies!
Will I struggle money-wise?
Money can be an issue for some people when at uni, and understandably it's a worry for most people before arriving at university. Nights out, food shops, and socialising with friends can all add up, and be expenses that you're not used to when living at home.
However, I think with your student loan and being sensible with how you spend your money, it’s not too difficult to stay out of money trouble. If possible, a part-time job is good for generating extra income, and it gives you the added extra of skills which you can put on your CV and they'll make you stand out when applying for jobs. One thing to to just make sure of is that you’re not spending your student loan all at once. The day you get your student loan it's tempting to go on a night out... but if you’re sensible with it, you’ll be fine!
Will the work be really difficult compared to A-Levels?
The work at University is 100% harder than A-Level work, and it’s understandable because it’s degree level - it's a step up. However, this is nothing to worry about, because A-Levels were probably hard when you started them... but you learn how to adapt and do the work.
It’s exactly the same with University, and personally I feel like you get even more support at university. All the course tutors are so helpful, and because there are so many of them – there is always someone around willing to help you.
Leading up to an assignment deadline or exam, tutors always go through the work needed to make sure you are prepared and ready. But as long as you personally keep up to date with all your work, and stay organised... again you’ll be fine!
Is Leeds a fun city to live in?
I personally LOVE living in Leeds, I think it is a great size. Not too big to get lost and overwhelmed, but not too small that there isn’t a lot going on. With the city centre just 10-15 minutes away from the university, it’s easy to go out and socialise with all your friends; with a night out, a meal, a fun activity, or a shopping trip.
I think in Leeds there are plenty of things to do, for every individual, as long as you get stuck in with what’s going on you will soon see the benefits of living in Leeds!
Will I miss home?
I think this depends on a number of factors; if you’re a ‘home bird’ or if you have travelled far from home to be in Leeds.
If you are a home bird...
It’s difficult moving away from home, for probably the first time ever, however with the uni timetable being broken into semesters... you’re actually not away for too long at a time. So although you are moving out and away from home, there are so many opportunities to be able to go home and spend time with your family.
If you have travelled far from home...
If you have travelled quite far to be at University in Leeds, it’s understandable that being so far away from home can be tough. However, the transport and travel options in Leeds are really good, so it’s easy to get home when you need to. There are so many bus options to get into town so you can get the train home, or Headingley and Burley Train Stations are really handy too. So if you’re really struggling being away from home, don’t worry; there are so many ways of getting back home for a weekend with the family to settle yourself. There's also the coach station where coaches depart to pretty much every city in the UK every day, and these are often cheaper than trains, meaning you have lots of options.
But overall, you will be having such an enjoyable time at university with all your friends, social opportunities, events in the city and work that you will realise just how fast each semester goes by!