College Directory Network was built from the ground up to help students and colleges succeed together. When you’re a new student, there seems to be so much to learn and it can seem a little overwhelming. We have tips and advice from many students, who’ve been in the same position. From student accommodation to choosing courses and classes, we will be adding information regularly to help you get the most from your education.
Feeling excited or perhaps anxious about joining your new university? Well, you should not get overwhelmed by it because you have all the help you need in your hands. The information found in the booklets sent to you offer a helpful resource to school life.
Go to Freshers/Welcome Events
The first couple of weeks of school life will offer several freshers and welcome events to attend. Go to as many as possible to meet other new students, socialise, and get acquainted with your university. It is also the best time to join societies and clubs as well as to get to know more about your union.
Uni life presents a time to explore different cultures through interactions with diverse people. You will meet students from the rest of the UK as well as the world. Whether or not you are accustomed to interacting with people from different nationalities, keep an open mind and embrace people and their differences.
Keep A Level Head
Life in university brings with it some changes, and it can get stressful trying to adjust to it all. It means getting away from familiar environments back home as well as being away from friends and family. Once you settle down and get past the first couple of weeks and get used to your new life in school, things will settle down.
No one expects that you will know everything and you won’t unless you ask. The freshers and welcome week events provide a perfect opportunity to ask as many questions as you please. Also, ask other students and staff questions at any given opportunity. People tend to be quite receptive to offering assistance, and they will only extend it if you ask questions.
Make Use Of Available Help
On top of asking questions, take advantage of the help that is readily available during freshers and welcome weeks. You will have access to Fresher’s reps, Welcome Crew, and Student Ambassadors to offer the assistance that you will need. They can help you get started out and involved with different clubs and societies. The Welcome Crew is dedicated to helping new students during their first few weeks in university.
Get around and know the school property and surrounding areas. Go to the shops and take walks around the nearby streets. You might just stumble across interesting places and establishments that will become integral parts of your school life.
Get some time to locate all your classes well before they commence. Do not forget to switch off your phone when attending classes.
Take Part School-Based Activities
Other than the freshers week events, there will be diverse other activities. Clubs and society activities present a fantastic opportunity to meet new people. Also, do not shy away from attending smaller events to give you a chance to enjoy great conversations for a change.
The university experience is not free from events and parties to attend. However, you will not be short of several fun freshers week events, and activities do not involve alcohol consumption.
Computer Literacy in the Workplace
In addition to the many colleges and universities, there are also private sector organisations which can further your education. Many employers are now seeking a high standard of computer literacy as a basic requirement, with competency in Microsoft Office being in particular demand.
European Computer Driving Licence
Ideally, you may find that you can take additional classes in computing to complement your mains studies. In particular, look for courses which will lead to a recognised qualification at the end. For example, in the UK and Europe the standard benchmark for computer literacy is the European Computer Driving Licence, or ECDL. Ownership of this qualification shows that you have attained a sound working knowledge of computer basics and can apply them in the workplace. The ECDL Foundation offers education programmes to assist students in gaining these vital skills whilst still at school or college.
If your college doesn’t offer such facilities, you can take the ECDL at a wide range of training organisations. In the UK, Pitman Training are one of the best know providers of ECDL courses. You can study at any one of their training centres, or alternatively you could opt to study online.
Microsoft Word is the standard application across the World for word processing and a good working knowledge of the software will make you more attractive to potential employers. Similarly, Microsoft Excel is the de facto spreadsheet application and used extensively by organisations of all sizes. Both of these applications have many features and understanding them can represent a considerable learning curve.
When it comes to Microsoft Training, the choice of providers is seemingly endless. So how do you choose the right training provider for your particular needs? Clearly cost is an important factor and in this respect it does pay to shop around. However, don’t instantly jump for the cheapest Microsoft course that you find. There are other important aspects, such as class size and these often impact on the price. Some training organisation keep their prices down by putting many delegates onto one course. This strategy inevitably leads to a lower quality of training as tutors are less able to answer questions and spend time with each student.
Microsoft training courses usually target specific Office applications individually. For example, most providers will deliver Microsoft Excel and Word as individual one day courses. These will frequently be offered at three level or more to ensure that delegates receive the correct training for their current experience. Paul Brown Training is one of the UK’s leading providers of Excel courses based in London, offering classroom, onsite and online training across the whole range of Microsoft Office applications.
Depending on the position you are seeking after graduating, you might also find some form of project management training to be useful. The accepted standard qualification in the UK is Prince2. It is a structured project management methodology, independent of any particular software application. Originally intended for the public sector, it is now the de facto qualification for project managers in all kinds of organisations. You can learn more about Prince2 and the training available on the official website.
Joining university for the first time is an exhilarating feeling, but it also comes with a lot of uncertainties. How will the overall experience be like? Will you like the lectures? What about other students, will you get along with them?
UNITE works with UK university students, thousands of numbers, annually towards preparedness efforts. A partnership with The Student Room revealed that 72% of students rank accommodation as one of the factors that affect overall success in school. The room you will hold up in during your years in university matters a lot because it helps combat homesickness.
Most students will fix up their school rooms to create that homely feel, but it never quite replaces your home, and it is natural to keep missing home. Given that it will be the first time you live away from home and you will interact with students from diverse nationalities and cultures, homesickness is inevitable.
Everyone finds that change requires adjusting time, after all, not everyone is used to living with different people from across the world. However, most students find that after acclimatising to uni life they can make life-long friends.
Remember that other students probably feel the same way and you should not feel like you are the only one suffering. Give it time and don’t expect to outrightly click with everyone or make lots of friends right away.
Take advantage of university and accommodation based social media pages to reach out to more college students. It is an active, interactive, and fun way to strike up conversations through shared interests. For instance, you can try to find students who come from your hometown or someone who likes the same band or TV shows like you.
Keep in touch with friends back home and invite them to visit regularly. Alternatively, plan trips to visit friends going to other schools in different states or visit home regularly as well. Schedule to visit during the middle of the semester or when you have enough money set aside for the trip.
If your home is too far away to visit regularly or even make that midterm trip, why not take regular weekends away? Getting away and having weekend plans to look forward to offers some form of comfort and distraction from homesickness.
Take the time to make your school room feel like it is a piece of home away from home. Take with you an excellent cosy duvet to create that homely feel. Also, bring along as many personal items as you can to remind you of home. Some of the things that you can take along with you include pictures, posters, cushions, and even potted plants. Keeping familiar objects in your uni room helps to make it a comforting place.
Keeping potted plants and flowers in your room to brighten it up. They also tend to brighten the room and keep you busy by having something to look after. However, if you are not great with taking care of live plants go for low-maintenance options like cacti.
Lastly, do not dismiss the tried-and-tested talk with someone to share how you feel. Talking to roommates, friends, and family can help ease the feelings of homesickness.