Starting university: a guide for students

White curve
Finding your way around a new place

It takes time to adjust to new surroundings, especially if you’ve lived in the same place all your life.

Get to know one area at a time and ask if any of your new friends want to join you - shared experiences are good for forming friendships. See if you can find a place you can go for some peace and quiet, like a park or courtyard; in every city or town there are places away from the hustle and bustle - you just have to know where to look.

Your uni should provide you with guides to the local area and information about public transport links. You can also do your own research online to find out what’s on offer.

In general, students tend to fall into one of two categories:

Optimist or worrier diagram

The Optimist

You may be excited about getting to know a new town or city. It’s an adventure.

When setting off exploring, make sure you take necessary precautions, keeping valuables out of sight, and see if you can find a city map (you can’t always rely on having a phone signal).

By practicing personal safety with your belongings when you’re out and about and being cautious, you can enjoy the experience and have fun discovering new things to see and do.

Number of people sitting on wall

The Worrier

You may be worried that something bad might happen if you go out - that you’ll get lost, feel unsafe or not be able to use the public transport.

Most of this anxiety can be reduced by planning. It can be helpful to explore with a new friend to begin with, and maybe let people know you are going out too.

Look after your belongings and yourself when you’re out, but also try and enjoy exploring your new environment. It can be helpful to practice a mantra before you leave the house each time - “have I got my keys/phone/money/mask.”

If you are really anxious, keep a small list of phone numbers on you that you can always call for help if you were to ever lose your keys or money.

Girll drinking coffee on laptop

Resources

Resource

Starting University

A resource for young people about to start university

View resource
Resource

Wellbeing Action Plan (child)

A simple, resource to help young people keep themselves well and get them through difficult times

View resource
Resource

Warning signs poster

A bold A3 poster showing the warning signs that tell you when someone may be depressed. This poster could save a life.

View resource

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