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The Transition from Sixth Form/College to University

19 August 2022

If you are one of the few people that actually follow my content regularly (if at all) then you’ll be reading this at the height of A-Level results day. First of all, congrats on getting into Cardiff! Even if you got into Cardiff through clearing, also congrats. It may not have been your first choice uni, but I can assure you it should’ve been! Regardless, even if you’re moving to Cardiff which is easy enough as it is, it can still be tough to make the general transition from being in such an inclusive environment where everyone knows everyone in sixth form to a place where there are 30,000 other students that would barely recognise each other if they walked past each other on the street. There is nothing wrong with not knowing everyone. If anything, it’s all about the quality of friends, not quantity. And the quality of friends that you will find in university will likely be so much better! This is because there are more people to mingle with and lots of people have varying interests. For example, if you are into an obscure sport such as Korfball (google it) then you’re bound to find someone else that does too. You’d struggle to find anyone that does in your old college now wouldn’t you?

Meeting new people can be difficult though. And I know that everyone constantly repeats the phrase of ‘everyone is in the same boat’ when talking about making friends at uni. But after experiencing it myself, this statement could not be more true. Step outside of your comfort zone and be willing to take on new interests and experiences. I know this is much easier said than done but this can be a massive help in expanding the number of friends that you can make. If you take an interest in another person’s hobby then that shows that person that you care and are willing to spend time with them which makes them feel great about you. Thus, they value you more as a person (forgive me for using the word thus, I’ve been writing a lot of essays recently).

This sounds kind of obvious but being open-minded and not discriminative can also help. There are many people that I know who are unwilling to befriend people just because of their age, for example. Regardless if they are a 35-year-old postgraduate or an undergraduate who is a similar age to you, this will not affect their personality. If they are a nice person and are good fun to be around then that is all that matters.

Going into a relationship can sound exciting and there are dozens of people who would love to be in a relationship just for the sake of saying that they are in a relationship. Please do not fall into this trap. You should try not to go into your halls or a nightclub trying to pick out the perfect partner after one night. I believe it is better to just focus on the importance of friendship. This could develop into a relationship over time, but this is ok, as at least you’ll fully know the person and will be able to trust them. Unfortunately, there can be some nasty types out there that will be looking to take advantage of people that are too confident and not savvy enough. I beg that you don’t be that person. But this is not a reason to be fearful. It is wise to be assertive but also being vigilant whilst doing it.

The best thing I’ve ever been told is that your university years are the best years of your life. Make the most of them because they won’t last long. I didn’t believe it back then but I certainly do now! This is why it is crucial that you get the full and proper university experience by being friendly to everyone you meet and being willing to talk to people. Then you will be able to safely say that you really did have the best years of your life!