Starting life as a college student (Blog)

Feeling nervous about starting college in September? Leaving school behind and starting somewhere new can be daunting, but you don’t need to worry. We’ve got some top tips below to help prepare you for the transition from GCSEs to A Levels or Diplomas and make this next step in your life as smooth as possible.

You’re all in the same boat

One thing to remember is that everyone starting college is in the same position as you! You are all new and will all have the same questions going through your mind the first week. No one will be any wiser than you when it comes to things like where lessons are, or how to use your student ID card.

Don’t be afraid to ask each other for help – if they don’t know the answer then you can find out together and maybe make a new friend at the same time.

Remember you can always find a friendly member of staff to talk to and ask for help. If you are in need of advice, guidance and support, the Student Services team is dedicated to helping you by emailing calling 01208 224460 or popping in to see them in Student Services in T010 Temple building. You can also speak to your Personal Development Tutor, one of your lecturers or a member of the Senior Management Team.

Making new friends

College is a great time to make new friends. While you may be starting college with some of your secondary school friends, there will also be people in your classes that you don’t know. Speaking to new people can be daunting but you already know you have something in common with them if they’re in your class; you picked the same subject to study! Just smile and introduce yourself to start a friendly conversation.

Get involved

College brings lots of new activities and opportunities for you to try alongside your study. Why not get involved with one of our academies, enrichment opportunities, Callywith Active physical activities or the Duke of Edinburgh Award? Whether your interest is sporting, academic or medical, we have created programmes and support to help you excel.

What could be a better way of meeting new people than signing up to a club or academy with people who share the same interests as you? Taking part in extra activities is a sure way to have fun and make college a fulfilling experience, as well as looking great on your UCAS application or CV.

You'll have the opportunity to find out more from staff and students and sign up to the enrichment opportunities on offer at our Freshers' Fair on the first day of term.

Best practice

The start of college is the best time to form some good habits and help you manage the leap from GCSEs to Further Education. Find a routine that works for you, making sure you get plenty of study time and put important dates such as exams and deadlines in your diary to make managing your studies easier.

One of the best things you can do is revise as you go along, rather than leaving it until exam time approaches. After a class, you can read up on what you learned and make flash cards that can double as a revision tool.

Many students find they need support with their course at some point. You can visit the Academic Services team in the Temple and Garrow Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) to discuss any learning support needs you might have or to find out if you are entitled to support in your lessons and exams.

Time management 

While you probably had non-stop lessons all day at school, at college you will have free lessons throughout the week. You might be excited about the independence of college, being able to leave campus at lunch and having free lessons, but it also comes with a greater responsibility to manage your time and use your free lessons wisely. Callywith College has two Learning Resource Centres that are always available for you to visit in your free lessons to get on with any coursework or revision.

Enjoy it! 

From studying subjects you are passionate about, making new friends and taking that next step into independence, this is an exciting time in your life. We hope these tips have helped to prepare you for starting college and we look forward to welcoming you in September!

For more information about what you can expect after you've applied and what you need to do before the start of term, visit our ADMISSIONS FAQS page.