Skip Navigation

Supporting your transition to University

University can be one of the most exciting and amazing experiences, and can offer the chance to learn, meet new people, gain independence and find out more about who you are.

We want to make sure you get the most out of your university experience. The following information provides an insight into what to expect when coming to university along with some good advice on how to navigate some of the potential challenges you may face.

What should I expect?

You probably already have an idea of some of the things to expect when coming to university, such as meeting new people, finding new independence, having a student loan, attending lectures and getting involved in social activities.

Whilst a lot of these things are part of student life, there are also new and unique challenges too. These may include the pressure to meet new people, managing money, learning how to cook, managing academic pressure and feeling homesick.

For most students, university is a mixture of all of the above, and it’s important to expect that there may be challenges along the way. If we look at these challenges as part of your university experience, you’re less likely to perceive them in a negative way, and the focus can then be on learning to overcome these challenges instead.

So let’s explore what to expect.

I’m going to meet loads of new friends straight away
University will be great all the time
I’ve got to try to fit in to make friends
I am the only one feeling this way
I shouldn’t feel lonely or homesick
I should know how to do my work to a great standard already
I need to reinvent myself – now is my only chance to start fresh
I need to go hard or go home
I’m rich

Overcoming your worries

Worrying is something we all do. We often think it helps us to prepare for what is coming up, by thinking of all the things that could go wrong.

Too much worrying however, is unhelpful, and this can actually impact the way we think and feel about the upcoming situation, leading to stress and even anxiety.

When worry has taken over, it can be helpful to ask yourself:

  • What am I worried about?
  • How likely is it that it will come true?
  • What is the worst case scenario and how can I manage this?
  • Will this matter in a month, a year, or five years?

With that in mind, here are some of the key things that students worry about before coming to university:

I won’t make any friends
I will run out of money
I won’t be good at or like my course
It will all be too much
I won’t enjoy it

Remember worry is a normal emotion in the face of something new – it’s all about just learning to manage it. Help is always on hand from tutors, student service and more if you need it.

Top tip

If you know have looked at your worries realistically, but still feel worried take a look at these tips on managing worry.

For some top-tips before starting university, this article is a great read, written by the Complete University Guide.

The transition to university

University is an amazing experience and gives you the chance to learn exciting new things, gain life skills and meet new people. We recognise that you may be leaving home for the first time, or balancing family and work commitments with your studies, therefore the transition to university can be an emotional one, full of ups and downs.

The sections below will help you embrace change, and teach you how to manage any issues you may face, both emotionally and practically to prepare you for the transition into university life. You can also find helpful tips for navigating student life on this website.

Independence and identity
Managing uncertainty
Managing money

The social side of university

Meeting new people
Living in halls
The Students’ Union
Campus life
Social media
Social anxiety

Self-care at university

What is self-care?
How to self-care
The Five Ways to Wellbeing
Healthy eating
Physical activity
Managing stress

Mental health

What is mental health?
Personal resilience
Worry and anxiety
Low mood
Mental health conditions


Changing your GP
Transferring mental health support
Walk-in centre
On-campus first aid
NHS 111
Sexual health


Your Personal Tutor
The Mental Health & Wellbeing Team
Let us know


  1. University is exciting. A lot of the information on this page is focused on preparing for university, however it’s important not to forget the obvious – university is one of the most exciting times of your life, full of new opportunities, and is something to be enjoyed to the fullest. So make the most of it.
  2. Change can be scary, but that’s a good thing. Any change can be scary because you’re taking steps outside of your comfort zone where everything is familiar. Though it may seem daunting, every step outside of your comfort zone is an opportunity to grow, have new experiences and develop your skills. It may seem big at first, but eventually you’ll find your feet and be glad that you made the change.
  3. You’re here to learn. Learning is the main goal of coming to university. Don’t expect yourself to know how to do everything perfectly the first time round – if you knew that, then you wouldn’t be coming to university. This doesn’t just apply to your academic work either, the learning happens in all ways – socially and emotionally – so remember to be kind to yourself.
  4. You can meet new people anytime and anywhere. Sometimes we have a lot of expectations that we’ll find our lifelong friends as soon as we start university – and some people do. But the truth is, every single day is a chance to meet a new person, and friendships can often be found in unexpected places. It’s never too late to meet new people.
  5. Looking after yourself is important. No matter what university life has in store, the one thing that remains the same is that looking after yourself is important. Try to check in with yourself often, and ask yourself is there anything you need. Make some regular time for you, and aim to do the things you know make you feel good, such as eating well, drinking enough, getting enough sleep and looking after your physical and mental health.
  6. Ups and downs are part of the journey. Often it’s the challenges we face in life that make the positives so rewarding. If you expect you may encounter some challenges, then you’re on your way to being prepared for them. And remember, not all challenges are a bad thing, often there’s a positive to be taken too – you just need to look for it.
  7. Support is on hand. You’re not alone during this journey. No matter what is going on, Edge Hill is a community full of support should you need it. From Personal Tutors, to student services, help is on hand. All you need to do is ask.