Top things I wish I'd known before starting university

31 March 2021

Thinking about going to university? Our current students and graduates share the top things they wish they’d known before starting university to help you prepare.

Everyone is in the same situation as you when you first arrive

Laiba Ather - BSc Management graduate

When you first arrive on campus you may feel slightly uneasy in your new surroundings, and this is completely normal. As you start to make new friends and meet new people these feelings will fade. There is also lots of pastoral support available to students, at the University of Warwick there is the Wellbeing Team based on campus that can support you in many different ways. At Warwick Business School (WBS) each student is also allocated a personal tutor who can also support you so it is a good idea to develop a good working relationship with them as soon as term begins.

You should fully apply yourself from day one

Silvia Bonku Ephraim - BSc Accounting & Finance (with Foundation Year) graduate

My top tip for prospective undergraduates looking to study at WBS would be to ensure that they immerse themselves in the university lifestyle. Speak to academics, join different societies, and develop a bond with your personal tutor, and most of all engage with the course content. It can be overwhelming, but the sense of achievement is second to none once you fully apply yourself. Also, ask for help if you need it. There is so much support that you are doing yourself a disservice by suffering in silence. Finally, make sure you enjoy your time at WBS because after that comes the world of work.

Be strategic about how you study

Deborah Ajide - BSc Management student Deborah Ajide

When starting university the biggest hurdle I faced was learning to manage my workload. After one term at university, I came to realise that I wasn’t able to learn and understand everything I had been taught straight away, and that I needed to give myself time to conduct my own self-study to clarify my understanding. I would recommend that you look at how each module is assessed and prepare accordingly.  For instance, if you have a module that will be assessed through an exam at the end of the year, make sure you attend all the lectures and seminars and make substantial notes which will help you when you come to revise. With essay-based assessments, you may be assessed at the end of the term, so try to choose your essay topic early on and clarify anything you are unsure of with your lecturer or seminar tutor before you start writing your essay.

Bring home comforts

Shubh Mehta - BSc Management student graduate

To try and overcome the feeling of being homesick I would recommend bringing some home comforts with you to make your room feel as homely as possible. You could decorate your room with family photos to help you settle in, as well as bringing some home-cooked food or ingredients with you. Your room will soon start to feel like your comfort zone but do not let this limit you from exploring the campus and meeting new people.

You don’t need to know where you want to specialise

Jola Maczkiewicz - BSc Management graduateJola Maczkiewicz

Don’t be at all concerned if you don’t know precisely what area of business you’re most interested in. Remember that most people, myself included, would have never had the opportunity to study business-related subjects before, so your first year at WBS will really help you discover these.

Research the module outlines for each year and consider whether this fits with your expectations for study – many universities differ in the range of modules on offer and the flexibility to choose these. The modules you study in your first year at WBS are typically set out to provide you with a solid grounding across a number of areas of business, from accounting to supply chain, and then in later years, you have much more freedom to mould the degree to fit your interests and future career path. Finally, remember to enjoy yourself; going to university is a stage within your life that you will never forget!

Don’t be afraid of getting out of your comfort zone

Eleanor Burgess - BSc Management graduate

I will always look back on my time at WBS as being such an amazing chapter of my life. However, when starting university I do remember feeling quite overwhelmed, as there were so many activities going on and things to do. From making new friends, living in student halls, joining societies, cooking (or attempting to, in my case!) as well as managing the workload, it can be challenging to balance everything. With this in mind, the first piece of advice I would give my former self is to make the most out of every opportunity on offer and to not be afraid to do something that is out of your comfort zone.

I would also encourage myself to maximise the career support from when I first arrive on campus. From CV workshops to interview preparation techniques and Employer Days - there are so many opportunities to gain experience and grow your network as a student at WBS, especially through the WBS CareersPlus team.

The final piece of advice would be not to worry or overthink things too much; your first year is about finding your feet and settling into the start of a new chapter. If things don’t make sense right away, don’t panic. You can do it, and don’t doubt yourself and your ability!

Are you ready to make your mark in the world of business? Download our undergraduate brochure to find out more about the courses on offer at Warwick Business School.