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Living Away from Home 

Living away from home for the first time as a university student can inevitably be a daunting experience. Although university is a great opportunity for an exciting, fresh start and most importantly, freedom, it’s completely natural for a new student to feel nervous about the prospect of doing everything for themselves for the first time, especially if you’re going to be living a considerable distance away from family, friends and the place where you live outside of term-time. 

A good thing to remember is that the University are there to help if you’re struggling with anything whilst you settle in, be it emotionally, socially, or practically. As cliché as it sounds, its undeniably true that your fellow students are very much in the same boat, so most of the time you’ll also be able to help each other out with little things. 

Consider doing laundry at the same time as some of the people you live with, arranging to cook/eat together, or to go into town as a group to get your essentials. Not only is this a good opportunity for you to get to know other people and make some good friendships in the first (perhaps more difficult) couple of weeks and months, but it also takes some pressure off and highlights that you really aren’t alone. University is a great time to build and demonstrate independence, but also to overcome personal challenges and grow as an individual, so it’s key that you make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.  

Managing Your Studies at a Degree Level 

A new student at university will find that the workload can be quite heavy, particularly at certain points of the year. However, it’s also lighter at some points in the academic calendar too, which is why a big part of getting through university successfully and happily is good time management. 

The work and the timetable can be more challenging compared to how they may have been in high school or college. It’s key to remember that it is your own degree and so realistically, it’s your responsibility to spread it out around your lifestyle and extracurricular commitments. That’s not to say there aren’t lecturers and support staff to help you manage your time and create schedules that work for you. There are plenty of those who can help individual students tailor personal timetables that work for them. 

A key thing to consider if you’re soon to be starting university or are feeling the pressure of being a current student, is looking at how you spend your days. There is plenty of time in the days, weeks and terms to do everything the University (as well as your own non-university life) expects of you. That’s not to say that it’s not normal to get stressed with university assignments. That’s expected, its common and it's completely understandable. You’ll be able to tell if you feel like you’re losing control of stress or emotions, as well as if that uncomfortable feeling is happening too often.

The best way to control your time and your schedule is to create blocks in your day for different activities or things you need to do. It doesn’t have to be exact or to the minute (in fact, it’s actually better to allow a little leeway for unexpected and last minute things coming up in your day), but if you have a general idea of what you need to do, how long you need to do it for and when, it’ll allow you to organise your thoughts and yourself. Hopefully, as a result, you’ll then feel a lot less stressed and happier at university.  


There is a range of support services at the University of Chester for new and current students, so make sure you get to know what support is available and take advantage of it if you need to. 

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