Preparing for fresher year
How to make friends (even before you arrive!)
Official Facebook groups run by Chichester are a great way to make friends. I managed to find course friends and flat mates on the Facebook group before I arrived.
Although it’s difficult, it is important, especially in the first few weeks, to push yourself out of your comfort zone and start a conversation with someone. You never know, that hello could lead to an amazing friendship!
Wear band T-shirt’s/merch of artists, TV shows or films you like. In freshers week, I wore a T-shirt with a musician I love on it, someone came up to me and told me they loved that musician too. We’re great friends now!
Join societies. They’re a great way to meet new people outside your course and halls who have similar interests.
Remember, everyone is in the same boat. One of the biggest concerns for everybody before starting university is making friends. Don’t worry, you will find your people!
Preparing academically for university
The writing style at university is different to A Level, use the internet to get tips on how to research effectively and how to write a great academic essay. This will give you a good understanding of what is expected at degree level. I found referencing to be difficult in first year. The sooner you grasp how to reference properly, essay writing is quicker and easier. Do note that referencing styles differ depending on your course.
Should you defer?
Do what feels right for you. People will give you advice on what they think you should do, but it is your decision. The degree you have applied to do will affect your decision. Practical degrees will be more difficult to do from home than writing based degrees.
If you have plans of what you are going to do in the gap year, then defer. However, job prospects are decreasing and travel is restricted, which are popular for students who defer. If you are going to be sitting at home for year, you may as well be sitting at home doing a degree. During uncertain times, having something to focus on is important. Doing my degree from home has been challenging but it has given me something positive to focus my time on. It gave me great structure in my life.
BY: Liv Hughes, 3rd year Politics and Philosophy & Ethics