Each year thousands of students enrol into university which, as those of us who have already been through it know, can be one of the hardest transitions for young adults. After all, it is more than likely the first time you’re away from home, plus your academic and everyday lifestyle is about to change drastically.

However, adjusting into “university life” does not need to be a seven-headed beast like situation. Preparation is key, so take time to speak to those who have been to university and if at all possible those currently enrolled in the course you’re about to study. To help further, here are some tips that will make this transition much easier.

Learn a few life skills before you start: it will be much easier to adjust to university, if you make it a goal to learn basic life skills before you start – especially if this is your first time away from home. Being at home with parents means it is unlikely you’ve been sorting through and paying bills, cooking for yourself everyday nor buying home essentials. Doing these things on a smaller scale before you start your course will not only save you money but also curb a lot of the anxiety that comes with moving out.

But if you’re still a little uneasy, try staying within the university campus housing or halls of residence. These usually provide services and are fully equipped with facilities that take the stress away from daily chores from cleaning to laundry and catering.

Get to know your campus: One of the first things you should do on arrival is getting to know your university campus. There is nothing more stressful than having to run from one lecture to another without knowing where the next building is. Join the campus tour and get familiar with your surroundings, not only will you know where your lectures are, but also other important places like the student union (or office).

Join clubs or societies: Long gone are the days when you used to know everyone in your class or even your year. During the freshers’ week, take a look at the clubs and societies you might be able to join – there’s something for everybody! This is a great way to make friends: university is the perfect place to immerse yourself in different activities, with people from all walks of life. It’s much harder to join things once groups have been established so take the leap early on.

Work on your organisational skills: One of the biggest changes you will encounter is accountability! It is on you to ask for help; it is on you to make sure your work is done on time. Whether is it with a diary, a checklist, a calendar or a whiteboard – you need to figure out (fairly early) a way to organise yourself. Learn to prioritise and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

True, that step into university can be quite nerve-racking but as experience has it – this could be the start of the most exciting years of your life.