Transition to university life

IMG_0414Hi, I’m Raqeeb and I am just about to start the final year of my Sociology degree at The University of Manchester. Over the summer I have been working with the UMASS Team as part of the Summer Intern Scheme at the University. Last week I helped with confirmation and clearing. For those UMASS members moving onto university, I wanted to wish you all the best with your future studies. I also want to share with you my advice for transition to university study.





Make new friends and meet new people

  • Welcome Week is the first step in helping ease the transition to university and meet new people. Activities are organised to help introduce students to one another.
  • University is an opportunity to meet new people who may have similar interest to you.
  • Join clubs and societies to build a network of friends who may share the same hobbies as you.
  • Get involved in as many activities as you can because this is a great opportunity to learn new things.
  • Put yourself out there and try something new as there’s a society for everyone e.g. Qudditch, Archaeology, or set your own society up.
  • Speak to people on your course and make yourself approachable.

Learn a new skill

  • You might want to learn something new to help ease your transition to university. The University of Manchester has various workshops and modules you can take.
  • Student experience is all about exploring new possibilities. Try a new life skill like cooking or budgeting, etc.
  • Employability Skills – it is important you develop skills to make you more employable, but it’s probably more important to learn how to effectively showcase the skills you have acquired. The Careers Service can help you with all the careers related advice and help you become more employable.


  • At the University there’s various support services available to help you keep on top of your finances and provide assistance if you find yourself in a difficult situation. The Money Advise Officer is an independent member of staff at the Student’s Union who can help you with all money related problems.
  • Make sure you budget from the start. Having a budgeting sheet which helps you understand what you are spending your money on.
  • Getting into a good habit of budgeting can make student life a lot more enjoyable. It means you have money to spend and still survive the rest of the month.
  • Allocate money to certain activities. Do you have fixed costs such as accommodation and your mobile phone bill? Make sure you know the amount of money you have left after all these costs have come out.
  • Ensure you make use of the promotional offers on campus or other offers such as bus passes or NUS Card discounts. Offers and vouchers can save you considerable amounts of money which means you have more money to spend on the things you enjoy.
  • Make sure you set aside money for unforeseen circumstances which may arise.
  • Stick to the daily/ weekly budget.
  • Don’t overspend because it will mean the rest of the month will be a struggle.

Learn how to use the library

  • The library will have most study materials required for your course e.g. books, journal articles, newspapers etc.
  • The library offers workshop to help you develop the relevant study skills and become a more autonomous student.
  • Remember, study effectively; you may not be able to read everything on the reading list, but pick out a few key readings to really engage with.
  • You can request books that aren’t available in the library. The University of Manchester allows students to request resources free of charge.
  • Attend the workshops the library delivers to develop key study skills. This is a great chance to develop the skills that will help you improve your assignments and revision techniques.

Manage your workload effectively

  • Make sure you do all the necessary reading – you don’t have to read everything, but ensure you read effectively. Most courses at The University of Manchester outline the key texts and additional readings students are expected to engage with.
  • Put yourself in a good habit of taking notes, because you need to summarise what you are reading.
  • Start the assignments early because the deadline will approach quickly. Even if you don’t start writing immediately, it’s important to read and take notes before you begin writing.
  • Ask tutors for help and arrange meetings with your academic tutor if you feel you need additional assistance.

Support Available

  • Make sure you know what support is available. The University of Manchester offers various support such as the Wellbeing Service, Nightline and other great services which are ran for students.
  • Everyone is allocated an academic advisor who is your first point of contact for anything in relation to your university life. Developing a good relationship with your academic advisor is key, because they will be writing references for you when you come to apply for jobs.
  • Meet your course reps. These are students studying your course who try to improve your student experience through feedback you provide.
  • Speak to the careers service about what options are available to you now and after you have graduated.

Just remember your university experience is personal and therefore you can influence your student experience by meeting people and getting involved the various activities on offer. There is a lot of support available for students to help ease your transition to university life. If you are unsure about anything make sure you speak to your academic advisor and see what support is available.