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What to Expect at University in Your First Year

No matter how excited you are to begin life as a university student in the UK, it’s normal to feel nervous about what to expect during your first year. 

From managing your finances to student accommodation and university life on a day-to-day basis, there is a whole world yet to explore across all UK universities. Whatever you’re anticipating for your first year at university, Campus Living Villages has the facts that you can rely on. We’ll take you through your first year of university life, breaking down everything you can expect, including: 

  • What to expect as a first-year student 
  • How to make friends at university 
  • What clubs you can join at university 
  • How to manage money as a student 

What to expect as a first-year student? 

Before you begin anticipating what your first year of university life will look like, remember that everyone’s experience is different, and your experience will be unique to you. However, having a general idea of what to expect will help you to feel less overwhelmed and reduce any anxiety or nerves you might be feeling.  

The first thing to expect is having to handle the enrolment and documentation process that nearly all UK universities require first-year students to complete in the first week.  

You’ll also move into your student accommodation around this time. This task can be the most daunting for first-year students as it can be costly, time-consuming and emotionally taxing. However, it doesn’t have to be! Campus Living Villages is one of the UK’s leading student accommodation providers, and has designed the move-in process to be as smooth and as welcoming as possible.  

Making friends can be a worrying prospect for a lot of students, so we have ice breakers and events held to help you get to know your flatmates, neighbours and on-site team. 

There’s also the infamous freshers’ week which sees lots of events take place aimed at helping you settle in and getting to know your university and your peers. Of course, it’s not just all about parties, there are plenty of things you can do besides this, including Student Union socials, society sign-up events and competitions or event days. 

As the year begins, you’ll have introductory lectures which are a great way to familiarise yourself with your course mates, expected workload and any extra-curricular activities you can get involved in. Most UK universities understand it can be difficult to adjust and have their own events for you to get involved in throughout the year. 

Throughout your first year at university, you can expect new experiences to be awaiting you around every corner. However, we recommend ensuring you have signed up to any health services you may need, as you don’t want to find you don’t have access to help when you need it most. 

How to make friends at university? 

Making friends at university comes naturally to some people and can be a daunting thought for others. Either way, it’s an integral part of most people’s first year at university and can open you up to a whole new world to discover. 

With so many things to see and do and so many people to meet, it’s hard to know where to start. We recommend beginning with something you’re particularly interested in.  Most universities have plenty of societies and clubs you can get involved in that centre around all sorts of interests and hobbies. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people in an environment that is open and welcoming - a great start to making friends. 

Having an open-minded attitude can help when being faced with so many new opportunities. Try hanging out in your villages communal spaces and say yes to more things that might be unfamiliar to you.  

What clubs can you join at university? 

Most UK universities are known for having a bright university life to get stuck into through clubs and societies.  

During freshers’ week, there will be events and fairs that offer you the chance to look around campus and meet representatives from the university’s clubs and societies. These groups are usually set up by students themselves and run out of the Student Union.  They can be focused on almost anything, with sports and hobby societies being common across most UK universities. Your university may have something a little more obscure, like University of York’s hummus appreciation society! 

If you have a passion or a hobby that you want to get involved with at university and there’s no club or society, you can even set one up yourself!  

How to manage money as a student? 

For some students, moving into student accommodation and enrolling at university is the first time they will be managing their own money, beyond the basics.  

It’s normal for this to be a scary prospect, but an exciting one too. All these freedoms in one go make it feel as though you have to experience everything all at once. Taking some time to plan and get to grips with your expected budget and what you will need to save and spend is absolutely essential. 

Financial trouble at university isn’t helpful and the stress and pressure it can bring is that last thing you need. We highly recommend having an in-depth budget established before you move in, along with a financial plan for potential issues and eventualities. If you’re not sure where to start with this, reach out for support at your student accommodation who can signpost you to places where you can find support. Another great place to start is your Student Union, and of course your friends and family who may have some handy tips to help you budget.  

Get excited for university life as a first-year student 

Overall, it’s time to get excited and look forward to a new world of friends, studies and a place to explore.  Of course, taking the time to choose the right student accommodation for you is extremely important. Luckily, our accommodation has everything you need to get the most out of your first year of university life.  

From modern and cosy rooms to exciting and functional social spaces, there’s everything you need to relax and unwind in comfort and socialise with new friends when you want to. Better still, there’s no extra charges as all your bills are included and fixed for the year.  

Find out more about what it’s like to live with us and we hope to see you at one of our villages soon!  

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