It's an exciting and daunting time for the whole family as students across the country prepare to collect their A-level results.
The start of a new life chapter is always cause to celebrate, but some aspects of the transition to university life are challenging.
Dr Debbie Porteous has carried out some research into the change of pace between A-levels and higher education. Here are some of her tips for helping students to prepare for university life, and how to get the best out of it.
*Try and get yourself prepared for university
Work to get as much information as possible about your chosen university and course before you start so you know more what to expect when you arrive. University websites are a great source of information for minding out more about your course and modules - and many unis even hold briefing days where you're invited to come along to meet staff and other students.
Take a closer look at your accommodation and where you're going to be. If possible, try doing a pre-run before the university year starts to make sure you don't get lost on day one.
*Check out the Student’s Union
The Students’ Union (SU) is a great thing to be a part of. There will be plenty of volunteering opportunities available as well as the chance to join one of many societies to suit your interests. If you need it, there is always support and advice available for students. What a great chance to learn new things and meet new people as your settle in.
Familiarise yourself with the support available
You will always be assigned to a personal tutor who is there to support you. You will meet your tutor when you start university.
Take a look online at your chosen university’s website and find out what support services they offer in case you need them. There will be a variety of support services available including mental health, disability support, money and faith.
Speak to other students about their experiences
It can be nerve-wracking when you don’t know what to expect, but it’s a good idea to speak to other students at your chosen university to get some insight into life there.
Check out Facebook groups you can join surrounding your university where you’ll have the opportunity to speak with other students on your course or within your accommodation, and ask any questions you have.
You will have an induction week when you first start university, where you’ll have a great opportunity to meet lots of new people too.
Remember that it’s OK to have a wobble
It’s very common to have times where you feel homesick or question whether you can do this, but remember that it’s OK to have those times – everyone is in the same boat. There is always someone to talk to and you’re never on your own.
Your personal tutor is a really good place to start if you would like to discuss how you’re feeling and they will signpost you to the right support.
Thank you to Northumbria University for sharing this advice with us ahead of results day on Thursday, August 16.