Advice from our Students

Who better to get advice from than students who have been in your position?

Our students share their top tips for thriving in your first year of university. From time management to lecturer support, keep these tips in mind once you begin your studies, but more importantly don’t forget to have fun along the way! 

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In university you will not be left out, everyone is included!

“A massive welcome to all of the students who are going to be joining for the first time. You’re probably feeling a little worried or anxious and of course, that is natural. 

The first year will be a year you will get to meet the people on your course, lecturers for the first time and get into the swing of how the university works. For example, your lesson structure, where your lessons will be based and of course the social life!  

University is a massive step from mainstream school and college. This is where you’re getting a degree for your future career! As you’re first year students, your lecturers will understand that you’re new and will guide you along the way until your final year at the university. 

From experience, I have the best lecturers ever! They have understood me in such a short time while just being in the first year. They are kind, caring and want you do to well in every aspect of your learning. In university you will not be left out, everyone is included!” - Courtney Price-Calder 

Learn how to balance your studies with other activities

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"As a new student, you need to ensure you possess time management skills. 

This will help you to settle in with your study and also help you to balance your studies with all other activities you might be engaged in." - Adekunle Aderibigbe

throw yourself into everything and try out new things

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"Everything is going to be completely new, which can be scary but don't be afraid to throw yourself into everything and try out new things. 

It's important to know that everyone is experiencing the same thing so you are never alone and can always ask for help!" - Lily Clarke


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Keep a diary! 

From deadlines and lectures to personal work schedules and university work, I keep everything in my diary, even personal things. It makes me very aware of everything I have coming up.

Taking notes 

You should always try to take notes in lectures, and access note taking support if you are eligible. You should also be keeping those notes organised! You can either write your notes manually, with a pen and paper, or digitally - whatever works best for you!

Be proactive

The most important thing about staying organised at university is being proactive with assignments and deadlines. Check your module and course handbook, they will have information on when your assignments are due in.

Here are my top tips for freshers and beyond


Stefany, an international student from Romania, studied Media, Culture and Journalism.

1. Go to freshers’ fair and get as many freebies as possible 
2. For your well-being, please make a cleaning schedule for your house 
3. ALWAYS back up your work
4. Don’t live off noodles and take-away food
5. You probably have an accent aaaaand people will notice it 

Being part of a society helped me develop a social circle


Head to the Freshers’ Fair and see what’s on offer. During my first week, I signed up to the Japanese, Anime & Manga society. They quickly got me involved in ice-breaker games and out of my flat meeting new people. Being part of the society helped me develop a social circle really quickly.

I got to experience the facilities around the regions, from the bars, shops and places to eat. They also offered lots of trips to a variety of places and conventions. I met so many through joining and went on to be the society President for two years, which has been a great addition to my CV!

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The creative freedom you have creates an exciting and inspiring atmosphere

"During my experience at USW it has been the most uplifting and exciting moment of my life. The mix of different courses and creative freedom you have creates an atmosphere which is exciting to be around every day, as well as inspiring. I love being able to collaborate without her courses in and out of the university. 

My self being a documentary photography I’ve collaborated with fashion, music and dance students, to help and encourage our own learning and progression into our separate industry’s.

If I had one help piece of advice which I have learnt from USW is that networking is key. Meeting so many like-minded students on my own journey has certainly opened many doors and avenues to create fantastic work together." -  Laurie Norris-Broughton