While it’s clichéd to say that university is a daunting experience, it is definitely true. You’re in a strange city with strange people. But universities do all they can to make this transition as easy as possible.
From personal tutors to student mentors to financial advisors, it’s fair to say you have an abundance of resources at your disposal, which you should take full advantage of.
A personal tutor is simply a professor or lecturer who is assigned to take care of you throughout your university experience. They can be your first port-of-call for any problems you may have. Having trouble with a particular subject? Ask your tutor. Having financial troubles? Then your tutor will point you in the right direction. Not sure how to reference your essay? Email your tutor. I did this a lot. (Sorry Dr. Kirkley)
Your tutors can also offer you job advice and are able to look over personal statements. Want to know more? Then the University of Sheffield summarises the responsibilities nicely. On a similar note, your professors have office hours, a set time of day where you can drop in to visit and ask whatever questions you want.
Student mentors perform a similar role to personal tutors with one key twist: they’re students themselves. They’re usually experienced, wizened third years which have seen and done it all. You may find them more approachable as well.
It could be easier talking to a twenty-one year old student about your relationship or money worries than a professor who could be three times your age. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t speak to your Personal Tutors as well, but student mentors are there when you need them.
In your third year, you may have the option to be a student mentor yourself and teach freshers everything you wish you had known when you were in their shoes. And as Cardiff University argues being a student mentor gives you plenty of transferable skills you can take into your working life. And it looks great on your CV.
The Student’s Union
The Student’s Union does an insane amount to help students. Financial advisors are on board to help you with any money-related issues. Blown your entire student loan in Fresher’s week? Well you’re one in a million who can get budgeting advice from finance advisors.
Forgot to apply for student finance? It urm…happened to a friend of mine. Well, your finance advisor can point you in the right direction. Newcastle University did this and more for my urm friend.
As well as finance, students’ unions also offer relationship and sexual advice. Maybe you’re having trouble with your partner. Maybe you slept with your flatmate in Fresher’s, making your current living arrangements seriously awkward. Maybe it’s something entirely more serious. But the relationship advisors are there to help you through the pain.
The bottom line is that universities offer a multitude of different resources, which you should take full advantage of. Personal Tutors, Student Mentors and the Student’s Union are all there to help you. And, of course, if all this fails then there are countless student advice blogs on the internet.