The Union Blog

How to make the most of your first year at University

Starting University can be a daunting experience, especially when you’re moving away from home for the first time. We’re here to help guide you through, and help you make the most of your year socially, academically and financially.

Seize every opportunity

University will give you the platform to get stuck into lots of different opportunities. We recommend seizing every chance you get that’ll help your CV, personal development and widen your circle of friends. University is your chance to meet people from all backgrounds!

Settling into your new course and making the most of it

Top tip: some of your lectures will be recorded, however making an effort to form relationships with your tutors will pay off. Complacency in your first year will have a knock-on effect throughout your degree, especially if you have a sandwich course where placement companies look at your grades. It’s always best to start off on the right foot to settle into a routine.

Further down the line your tutors will be the ones deciding what your degree is if you land on a borderline, so make sure to make a good impression and get involved. You can use your free Freshers’ wall planner to help organise your time.

Check out the events!

You’ll never be short of socials to attend during your time here, as there are events all year-round to help you make the most of student life. Freshers’ fortnight is jam- packed with a range of nights out, socials, bar crawls and festivals. Make the most of it, whilst pacing yourself. It’s tempting to drink for days on end, but there’s always more opportunities throughout the year to have fun with your mates!

Another great reason to join a society is weekly socials, activities and big events / fundraising balls. Come along to our Brighton or Eastbourne Freshers’ Fair to sign up!

Make use of your free time!

First year is when you have the most time, so take advantage of this. There are tons of great ways to get involved in extra curricular activities;

At Brighton Students’ Union we have a range of fantastic societies and sports clubs that welcome new members every year. Don’t see one that you like, set up your own! They’re the perfect way to make new friends who have the same interests.

Step out of your comfort zone

Start conversations with strangers, try everything that Brighton has to offer, and say ‘yes’ more often. This is your time to discover yourself and try new things!

Budget, budget, budget

We know it’s all too tempting to splurge your student loan, but statistically students are short by at least £150 every term. Set a budget in place and make the most of the student discounts you can use. Be sure to check out Student Beans and Totum. You’ll miss them when they’re gone!

Making group projects a success

Group projects can be tricky when you have to choose your study buddies without knowing them too well. We recommend teaming up with people you can trust to contribute, and setting up a weekly recurring time slot to meet!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Getting used to your individual courses’ style of marking can be hard. Harvard Referencing is mandatory for a lot of courses, but there’s help at hand. Don’t spent time sweating the small stuff when there’s resources available to you. Your SSGTs and your tutors are there to help, so you can focus on what matters.

It’s ok to realise University isn’t for you

If you get a couple of months in and start doubting your degree or University choice, don’t panic. It’s understandable to still be unsure of your career path at a young age! Speak to our Support Team as a first port of call. They’re there to help advise you on how to fix any resolvable issues.

Remember, we’re rooting for you! Don’t hesitate to reach out to your SU with any questions or support needed. Good luck with your new term and most importantly have fun! We can’t wait to meet you.


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