What is it like starting at Lancaster?
The wonderful world of university is an ever-evolving experience for students. You may have attended university in the past, or perhaps your son or daughter is the first in the family to attend, and you are experiencing university for the first time through them.
Here you can learn about some of the experiences of our students on life at Lancaster, as well as some frequently asked questions that parents and supporters often ask.
Throughout the process of choosing a university my parents stressed that ultimately it was my decision and that I needed to choose somewhere I felt comfortable and where I was going to be happy as I would be the one studying and living there for at least 3 years. They also stressed the point of me having choices and looking at as many universities as I wanted in order to make a decision, I felt happy and content with.
We asked our students some key questions about their experiences starting at Lancaster University.
What did you find most difficult, and how did you deal with it?
What did you find most difficult, and how did you deal with it? Accordion Accordion
Missing home - it's not unusual to feel homesick
The toughest part of university was that I don't get to see my family as much as I would like. Since I live in Devon it is a very long drive home, this means I can't just pop home like some of my friends. However, 10 weeks isn't too long and I am always busy with coursework and society activities.
Luke Knight MSc Hons Theoretical Physics with Mathematics
The toughest part for me was being away from my family, but getting involved in everything I can has made this easier. I call my parents every few days and go home some weekends, but taking up my time with things I love has meant I can stay in Lancaster longer and longer without getting homesick, and campus life has always made this so much easier than when I was living in a big city.
Lily Wearden BA Hons English Language and Creative Writing
The toughest part of university is being away from home. I'd encourage students to go home when they are able, but it's important to get used to being independent and away from family. I have found that regular Skype calls and FaceTimes help when being away from home.
Irina McConnell BA Hons English Literature
I'm very close to my family so leaving them was probably the toughest part of coming to university. When I first started at Lancaster, I was so busy that it didn't really sink in. I FaceTime my parents during the week and we have a month off at Christmas and Easter so that always helps!
Georgina Cann BSc Hons Accounting and Finance
Living independently and being organised
I have always been fairly independent but it's not until you leave home that you realise just how much your family do for you and in the beginning, I found it hard to be away from that! It's a natural part of life to move away though and at university you are with thousands of students going through the same thing. It's a good idea to make sure you know the basics of cooking, cleaning and washing before you come, but you'll have your friends to help you and it's not as scary as you think! No matter what though, I will never not miss my mum's roast dinners!
Nicola Cook BSc Psychology
Having to do everything for yourself as well as maintain a social life and concentrate on your studies. You don't appreciate how much parents do for you until you start living by yourself. I would say make sure to budget where you need to spend so you can see how much you have for going out. Also, I think making lists has massively helped. List everything you need to do when you think of it whether this be work or simply a chore and you get through it a lot quicker.
Jennifer Milliams BA Hons Management and Entrepreneurship
Time management - getting everything done
I found the toughest part of university life at first was the greater emphasis on independent studying. I dealt with this by making the most of lecturers' office hours which are designated times where you can get individual help from the lecturer. I also worked a lot with others on my course and have made some lifelong friends from this.
Alice Makison BSc Hons Mathematics
Managing my own time. At home or school or even at work, it's easy to get things done because you have some figure in authority telling you what to do. Not the case at uni, which is both a blessing and a curse. I'm still struggling but I learned when I'm most productive through trial and error and I really organised my working patterns around what worked best for me. For instance: I know I work better in the evening so I fill my day with activities. Managing my calendar became absolutely key too - always having it handy and being ready to pull it out at any moment.
Patrick Sweeney BA Hons History
I found it difficult to get used to a less structured and less formal routine. At first I was not very organised with my work as I took advantage of the freedom of university choosing to socialise with friends over doing work. I dealt with this by distinguishing work with university and socialising with the flat, meaning that I wouldn't go home until I had completed sufficient work in the library for that day and then when I got home I could socialise with flatmates.
William Fleetwood BA German Studies and History
What kind of support have you had from the university?
What kind of support have you had from the university? Accordion
Financially, I was eligible for the Lancaster Bursary, which has made my first year at Lancaster a lot easier. The scholarship scheme that Lancaster offers is great and I highly recommend that you check if you would be eligible for this before applying, as it can make a massive difference to your time at Lancaster.
Hayley Niven, BA Hons History
Keeping healthy and happy
There's loads of support available to students. Your college advisor is there to make sure you're happy and healthy and you can go to them for any personal issues that you're having. Your academic tutors are great too, they can give you personal feedback on work you've submitted and help you with any work-related issues. There's loads of other support available too from the base!
Freya Redrup BSc Hons Psychology
I have had support from the Welfare team as I have type one diabetes. A few weeks into term, my blood sugars were all over the place from adjusting to a new routine and environment as I had found myself busier than ever. The welfare team notified all of my tutors and course conductors about my condition and made sure that if I was to miss anything, my illness was the reason why. They also made alternative arrangements for when it is exam time; a massive help.
Georgina Spencer BA Hons Geography
Support for academic issues
I regularly meet with my Academic Advisor and he helps me with any issues I have about my degree. For example, he's read through essays and we've discussed potential improvements for the future. It's really useful to have that one-on-one support with an academic in the field you want to go in to!
Nicola Cook BSc Hons Psychology
I have an academic advisor who is useful to talk to regarding any issues with work. I have also gained help from the Disabilities services after discovering that I had dyslexia. This has allowed me to tailor my work more and adapt parts of my academic life to suit this.
Josh Fryer BA Hons Geography
Meeting my academic tutor once each term helped me to keep my academic progress on track. It also allowed me to ask questions about my performances on coursework and exams. When I discussed my English writing issues, my tutor introduced me to an English learning support team where I received feedback and support to improve my English writing.
Joey Chun BSc Hons Psychology
Help to get a job
I have had great careers support. I have benefited from having help with writing my CV, completing the Lancaster Award which has massively improved my employability, and also have attended a mock assessment centre with the careers service which I got really helpful feedback from. I honestly believe that without the help from the careers service I would not have secured the internship I undertook last summer which then lead to me being offered a graduate job starting in September.
Alice Makinson BSc Hons Mathematics
The careers team at Lancaster have been amazing when helping me secure a graduate job. Everything from checking over my CV to bringing potential employers in to the University to run mock assessment centres, I was 100% supported throughout the process. A specific memory that will always stand out is the personal emails the careers advisors send before interviews and assessment centres wishing you good luck, it definitely instilled the confidence that someone who had helped you throughout applications was cheering in your corner.
Leila Green BSc Hons Mathematics
I have had much support from many aspects of the uni, however, the main one for me has been to do with my career. When I first came to uni I had no idea what career path I wanted to take but Lancaster has really helped me to develop my ideas and find my personal interests and qualities. For example, at the beginning of the year an email was sent asking me to provide answers about potential career options I would be interested in pursuing and one of these was Primary school teaching. From this Lancaster University Students' Union provided me with volunteer placements in Primary schools and campus day project opportunities to get involved in which I thoroughly enjoyed and which will look great on my CV when I apply for a PGCE next year.
Hannah Boult BA Hons English Language
What is the Collegiate System?
Lancaster University is one of only 7 UK Universities to be collegiate, along with the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, York, Kent and Roehampton. But what IS the collegiate system? How many colleges are there at Lancaster? What impact does collegiate life have on students? How does a student pick their college?
Visit our dedicated colleges pages to learn more about them and the benefits they bring to enrich a student's time at Lancaster.Our colleges