How to solve all your uni worries in five hours and get the grades you need for your firm

In our latest student research, a third of student respondents told us they were still deliberating over their firm and insurance choices with their exams just around the corner. Making this kind of decision takes up a huge amount of headspace, closely followed by worrying about how uni will be, which accommodation would be best, will you like uni life and then of course the pressure of having to nail your exams to make it all happen. 

All these thoughts and niggles are obstacles to your revision, tempting you away from focusing on your exams. The trick is to tackle everything head on, rather than let it go round and round in your head. Rather than wasting minutes, hours and even days thinking about the future here’s how to deal with your uni worries in five hours. 

Put a deadline on making your decisions that suits you best

Time allocated: 1 hour 
Depending on when you received all responses from universities, you will have a deadline to respond to your offers. Make sure that you set yourself a personal deadline a week before and stick the date up somewhere in your room where you’ll see it. That way, it won’t go round and round in your mind.


If you’re worried that your dream uni is one grade too high and a later deadline to respond applies to you consider getting through as many of your exams as possible. If you feel they’ve been going well, it’s likely you’ll feel a bit more confident about choosing that uni as your firm. 

Review your exam timetable and look at how many exams you have before your deadline. Make sure you add your uni decisions deadline so you’re clear what exams you’ll be taking to enable you to make your choice.

If the early deadline responds to you but you’re still not sure if they unis are right for you, ask yourself why you’re still struggling to make a decision and what might be holding you back. If something doesn’t feel right, remember you can decline any offers and apply directly through Clearing with your grades after results day or make a fresh application in September.

Go back over your open day notes, double check the course and module information, make sure you’re comfortable with the travel time and distance between home and uni. Then pull together a pros and cons list. If you’re still having second thoughts put a date mid-way through exams but before your deadline to respond to offers to check in with yourself and how you’re feeling.


Firm and insurance choices 
Everything you need to know before making your choices 
What happens if you change your mind 
Introduction to Clearing

Choosing accommodation

Time allocated: 1 hour 
The majority of unis offer first year students accommodation, especially if you have made them your firm choice. Your firm will contact you at some point between you accepting the offer and the end of summer about your preference so don’t panic if you haven’t heard anything yet or don’t hear anything during your exams.

The cost of accommodation can be pricey. If this is worrying you, spend some time doing the sums now to see what you’ll be able to afford. Check out the accommodation online on the uni website and note down your options. If you’re still feeling confused find a date that you might be able to visit the uni after exams have finished and contact the student accommodation team to see if a visit is possible. Get it booked in and forget about it.


Applying for student tuition fees and loans

Time allocated: 1 hour 
The deadline for applying is 27th May 2016. If you haven’t done it yet, get it completed by registering on the Student Finance England website or equivalent dependent on where you’re based. You can make your application online and you’ll need the following documents when you do: 

  • Your valid UK passport, if you have one
  • Your university and course details
  • Your bank account details
  • Your National Insurance number
If you need to apply for a loan which is dependent on your family’s household income you’ll need parents or guardian to provide evidence and their national insurance number.


Student Finance Help: 
How to apply for student finance 
Student Finance Zone powered by SFE 
Ask Student Finance England

I’m worried about whether I’ll like uni life

Time allocated: 2 hours 
It’s impossible to know! No matter how long or hard you think about it, you won’t know until you get there. 
Instead of worrying, write down all the things you felt when you knew your uni was the right one for you. 

  • What you liked about the course?
  • Which modules are you most excited about?
  • What did you like about the lecturers?
  • What was it that helped you imagine studying and living at the university?
  • How did the current students inspire you?
  • What did you get excited about the most when you thought about being there?

Then write down all the things you’re worried about like: 

  • Missing home
  • Missing friends and being able to settle in
  • Making new friends
  • Having enough money

Then note down some potential solutions to help you feel a bit more relaxed about it all: 

  • ’ll visit home X number of times if I feel like I need too.
  • I can skype my mates and arrange some dates to go and visit them
  • I’ll join a couple of clubs to meet some people who have similar interests to me
  • I’ll check out part time jobs at the student union on their website after exams to see what positions they have.

Keep these lists somewhere that you can get hold of them easily and add to them whenever you need too.

Wrap it up and refocus on your exams

Book yourself an afternoon this weekend to tick all of these things off your list. Find somewhere quiet with no distractions and calmly work through all of your worries. Five hours might not seem like a long time, but remember this is all stuff you've been thinking about ages, it's all sitting in your brain ready to be dealt with. Just by writing down all of your thoughts, worries and solutions you'll be creating space in your mind which will mean you can focus on smashing your revision and achieving the grades you deserve in your exams. 

Uni life 
Ask current students about uni life 
Guide to Freshers 2016 
Six times you'll be glad you chose ensuite accommodation