Chloe' Story: The biggest change when starting university

21 February 2022

Chloe, a second year BSc International Management student, shares her experience of starting university and the importance of making the most of opportunities.

Tapping open your mailbox, you finally received the offer from your top choice university. You are overjoyed by the news but then, you start worrying about how university life is going to be different from studying in a high school. To be honest, we all require some time to transition from school to university. Yet, when you try to step out of your comfort zone, you can enjoy unique adventures and capture exciting moments. As an international student studying in the UK, I wanted to tell you about my biggest change when coming to university in comparison to high school.

Gaining my own independence

Being more independent and responsible is definitely my biggest change. Before joining WBS, I studied in Hong Kong and lived with my family. Coming to Warwick was the first time I had to live alone and deal with chores myself. From doing laundry, tidying up my room, to buying groceries and cooking daily meals, I had a lot more responsibilities than living with my parents at home. Having good time management to balance daily housework with academic deadlines also becomes vital, especially during test and examination periods. Unnerving as it seems, staying in on-campus accommodation during your first year can be a lot more convenient as there is a shopping centre within walking distance from central campus where you can get most groceries you need. Moreover, you have more time to spend with your peers, who help you settle in and adapt to your new surroundings. One of the highlights of my first year was cooking with my flatmates. We had a lot of fun making our Christmas Dinner and I was able to learn more about traditional British culture. I also introduced some Asian cuisines (which after that becomes my signature dish) to them which they enjoyed.

Being more self-motivated

Academically, self-motivation is equally crucial when it comes to studying and exploring new opportunities. Instead of having set and standardised guidelines, I have greater flexibility on allocating my timetable and selecting modules. Therefore, it is my responsibility to prioritise my workload and arrange schedules to meet assignment deadlines. For instance, there are many readings required in some WBS modules. It is optional for further readings but you will gain more knowledge than your cohorts if you are willing to dedicate time on exploring more about the topic you are interested in. Most importantly, initiative is required if you are planning to apply for internships. Before starting university, I had no idea what spring weeks or summer internships actually were. Apart from normal day-to-day study, I learned to allocate additional time for researching companies and doing online practice tests. This is really different from high school when there was more guidance and lower pressure to consider your future career aspirations.

Expanding my social circle

In terms of my social life, I’ve expanded my social circle by meeting new people at university. As an international student, I wanted to make friends with people from all over the world. I gradually became more outgoing and willing to get acquainted with people through societies, seminars, group projects and social events. The diversity of cohorts at WBS especially allows me to work and exchange ideas with students from distinct cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, I broadened my horizons by visiting different cities in the UK. Due to the pandemic, international travels become harder, but it gave me a great opportunity to explore nearby local areas around the university, such as Leamington Spa, Warwick, and Kenilworth. For example during Halloween, my friends and I joined a party event at Warwick Castle. We also visited other cities such as Manchester, York, and Bath during term break. These eye-opening experiences not only allowed me to further immerse into the British culture but also forced me to deal with daily changes and uncertainties.

In short, all these experiences have enabled me to become a more independent person where I can now make important decisions on my own, such as searching for my second-year accommodation off-campus. I am also more responsible and willing to take my own initiative with both my personal and academic life. Although transitioning from high school to university might be a giant leap, it is not as challenging as you might expect. There will be a lot of ‘first times’ but concurrently you are able to gain new experiences. What I suggest is to stay open and positive, try to push your limits and do not be afraid of change. For anyone starting university this year my best advice would be to make the most out of your first year and create different milestones in your university life.

Are you ready to embrace independence and start your undergraduate journey? If you would like to discover more about Warwick Business School, you can download our Undergraduate brochure.