• Question: What is studying at university like?

    Asked by EvieH on 22 Nov 2023.
    • Photo: Ed Morrison

      Ed Morrison answered on 22 Nov 2023:

      I think the biggest difference is that most students are living away from home for the first time. So on top of studying you have to deal with all the shopping, cooking, travelling, social side, hobbies, and work.

      In terms of the studying itself, the big differences are:

      1) Much less time in class. Much of your studying will be done in your own time, so organisation and self-motivation are really important.

      2) Big classes. I teach lectures with 250 people in them, compared with 20-30 in a school or college class.

      3) Much more emphasis on finding out for yourself rather than being told what to learn.

      But overall it’s a really good experience for most students, and you really grow up during this time and develop your independence.

    • Photo: Elizabeth Newton

      Elizabeth Newton answered on 22 Nov 2023:

      It will vary depending on your circumstances, whether you live at home or move away. It is very different from school, you are in charge of your own learning and will need to learn how to organise your time to make sure you get all the work done

    • Photo: Liz Halstead

      Liz Halstead answered on 22 Nov 2023:

      Hi Evie, studying at university is different for everyone. In first year you focus on meeting new peers and making friends, and wrapping your head around the work, including being more independent. I think your experience depends on lots of factors, but it is very different to studying at school.

    • Photo: Berengere Digard

      Berengere Digard answered on 22 Nov 2023:

      It is great to be able to focus on a topic you are interested in, but it is more difficult than school because you have to be self-driven and independent. There are rather few “contact hours” with teaching staff, and the rest of the time you have to work on your own. It takes some self-discipline!

      Luckily, Universities know that it’s a big change, so the teaching staff helps students transition from school to Uni. In first year, it’s more “hand-held”, the tutors give a lot of guidance, so that little by little you are able to work independently.

    • Photo: Emma Sullivan

      Emma Sullivan answered on 11 Dec 2023:

      It is great for developing your independence. You are in charge of your study schedule but also things you may not have done before such as cooking, cleaning, washing, socialising etc. I think it was a great experience but I did feel quite homesick at times!