University starter tips

​Starting university can be a wonderful and exciting experience, but it can also bring its own unique challenges! It’s natural to feel nervous or overwhelmed during the first few weeks, and it can be a while before you feel like you have found your feet, so here are some top tips:


It’s important to remember that everybody will be in the same position as you; a lot of first year students will rarely know someone else at the university.

It’s worth noting how many different ways there are to make friends at university. I met some of my friends during Freshers’ Week, lectures and seminars, at my accommodation, and even on my way to Tesco!

There are over 100 societies at Surrey, giving you ample opportunities to make like-minded friends. And if you’re into sports, there’s a chance you’ll make friends at our state-of-the-art sports complex, Surrey Sports Park, located on Manor Park campus.


The preconception that university life involves going out and drinking all the time is a myth. Nights out are commonly associated with university social life, but it’s a choice. If it isn’t your thing, there are plenty of alternatives to fill your time! Here are some examples, to name a few:


To-do lists have been the best productivity method for me to keep on track with assignment deadlines and reduce burnout. I’d highly recommend Notion and Trello! However, the conventional paper and pen is equally sufficient. Everyone works best in different ways.

A similarity between A-Levels and university is that it’s still necessary to understand assignment briefs properly so that you meet all the objectives to achieve top marks. Checking your work before submitting it is also crucial to ensure that you check for any spelling mistakes and cut out unnecessary words to make it as concise as possible.

A study technique that you can try is the Pomodoro Method. This consists of 25-minute periods of focus followed by a 5-minute break. It’s designed to combat multitasking and improve concentration. However, it’s not for everyone; I prefer using blurting, which is an active recall method where I revise a topic in-depth and then create a mind map of everything that I remember. This technique is especially good when trying to revise large content. 


Working part-time at university is an opportunity to gain transferable skills, meet new people and earn money all at the same time. I’m currently working as a Student Ambassador where I support workshops during on-campus events for prospective students and primary students. I’m also a Marketing Ambassador, writing blogs and helping prospective students by providing information on Unibuddy and Student Room. We also have an on-campus job centre, Unitemps, that has a whole host of part-time jobs for you to choose from.

I’d really recommend building on your CV and widening your network while you have the opportunity to at Surrey!


As a student, you can access multiple student discounts on essentials such as clothing, tech, food, health and fitness, and travel. I’d highly recommend downloading UniDays and Student Beans to access the best discounts. But I do think mindful consumption is super important! Here’s a guide on mindful consumption.