Preparing to start at YSJ

Starting university can be a daunting process, and no doubt a few of you have been wondering what this experience will be like. There are also some who will probably just like to get an insight into what it was like for someone else! My story is a little different from other peoples, as I only moved into York in my second year; I commuted in before then! Even so, this should be a good insight for anyone wondering what to expect from uni life.

What I did beforehand

Preparation was a crucial aspect of preparing to start at YSJ. I found that preparing appropriately helped relieve some of the stress that starting at university would inevitably cause, so it really helped into transitioning into uni life. For me, my primary focus was sorting out what route I was going to take to university. Once I knew what I was doing, how I was getting there any my methods of doing so, the concern of being late was lowered and helped significantly. This could be applied to anything, whether it be commuters or simply walking into uni; after all it helps to know how long it will take you to get there, whether walking, driving, or through any other mode of transport. It was also good to make sure I had the right gear; pens and paper are a must for lectures, but it helps to make sure you’re prepared for the events of the day ahead too, with whatever that may entail.

Making new friends

Making new friends is always a concern for anyone starting at anywhere new, not just university. In my experience, it helps to just walk up to someone, maybe a group of people, and just introduce yourself. It certainly helps that everyone is in the same boat, so to speak, so you have that common ground to start from. As well as integrating yourself with the people in your group, it could also help to join a society. I never did in first year but I did for my second year and met loads of new people from a variety of different courses. The real joy of societies is that you start with a common interest, regardless of how different you may be as people. There are a variety of other options available to you too, but those were the two I found most effective.

Uni life

Uni life take some getting used to, there’s no doubt about that. There is a lot to take on, and even more when you get your own place, should you choose to do so. There are a few techniques to dealing with this though: preparation and keeping calm. So long as you stay ahead and don’t leave things like washing up, bill paying etc. to the last minute, you should be able to manage perfectly fine. It should be noted as well; the quicker you do things like wash up and clean up after yourself, the more your housemates will appreciate it! Keeping calm is also key. In times like this it is easy to stress out about things and there is such thing as worrying too much. Now I know this is easier said than done, but try to keep calm about this stuff. Don’t stress too much about getting these arrangements done the very second the opportunity is available. Also not that “calm” is not the same as “relaxed” in relation to attitudes with this sort of thing. Try not to leave it to the last minute, but try not to stress too much either!

Uni work

Work is possibly one of the easiest things to both underestimate and overestimate when going to university.  On one hand, with everything going on, work is the last thing on your mind! But when you do think about it you end up thinking about pages and pages of work and notes and it can be a bit overwhelming. In truth, you shouldn’t worry. If you keep on top of your work load and don’t let everything get on top of you there should be no worries. Unfortunately, stress is unavoidable at times, but the workload really isn’t something of much concern. You do really need to keep on top of it though! Remember if you do have any concerns or worries about the work or the workload then make sure that you talk to a tutor or your academic tutor.

Well, hopefully this should provide some help for those of you starting back at YSJ in September. For those who are starting as first years I hope this has helped answer some of your questions, and put your mind to rest!


Hi, my name is Tom, I am a second year Primary Education student at York St John University. I really enjoy gaming, which is something I find quite relaxing. I also thoroughly enjoy reading, particularly Science Fiction, although I don’t to a particular topic! I also particularly enjoy running and exercising to stay healthy!

Why did I choose York St John University?

I chose York St John University because I absolutely loved the campus. Its location, Size, and appearance were all really appealing to me and really stuck out to me when I visited. The location was also of particular importance to me. It was close to the town with a lot of pubs in the nearby area as well as shops, and it was a beautiful location, so that really helped persuade me. On a larger scale its very close to my hometown of Ripon so that was also great for me!

Meet the Team – Amy

My name is Amy, I am a second year Primary Education student at York St John University. I enjoy going to circuit training and staying fit and healthy. I also enjoy walking my dog, family holidays and days out. I find these very relaxing!

Why did I choose York St John University?

I chose York St John because I loved how small the campus was, and how near to the centre it is located. To get into the city centre it takes me about 10 minutes to walk from my house- perfect for shopaholics like me! I also loved the atmosphere of the campus when I visited. The friendliness of staff also really appealed to me. York is a great city with lots to do, whether it be going to the cinema or catching up with friends in the local bar.

What do you like about York St John University?

The atmosphere of the university is something I really love. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help out, which is very helpful, especially in stressful situations. Both Staff and students are helpful and informative and that’s something that makes York St John stand out for me.

What are your aspirations?

My main aspiration is to become a primary school teacher. In particular mathematics and PE are key focuses of mine, as I always struggled with them at Primary School. I’d also like to increase awareness of charities throughout school and also AEN.

If you have any questions about York St John or student life then please comment below, it would be great to hear from you!

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