You might be reading this thinking you've got it all under control. University is just around the corner and you are fully prepared. Totally focused.

In an alternate universe, you're in a blind panic. Unsure about how you'll cope with the new environment, the workload, and how your faith fits into all this. The alarm bells are ringing. What is more important? Church, or study? Socialising, or study? Sleep, or study?

We've asked students for their stories and top tips to help you prepare for what's ahead and get the most out of your time at university. So take a deep breath, grab a cuppa, and read on!

Find a Christian Community at University

Everyone's different. What is right for your friends might not be right for you, and that's OK. Be brave and take some time to find a community that's right for you, where you can be yourself and be supported on your faith journey. It might be a student society, a chaplaincy group or a local church. SCM Connect is a good place to find out about student groups and friendly local churches - search the directory to find communities near you. Why not join the SCM Facebook group to see if anyone is going to the same uni?

I'd recommend looking at churches before you get to uni and printing out a map- you'll be more likely to go somewhere if you feel prepared. - Sonya

Make your room feel like home

As well as all of the obvious things like your uni paperwork, laptop and kitchen essentials, you might want to pack a few bits and pieces to make your room at uni feel more comfortable. We asked some current students for their uni suitcase essentials:

A doorstop. It's nice, especially in the first week, to have your door open to chat to your new flatmates. It's also useful when moving in! - Phillipa

Stuff to make your room homely. For me that's my figurines, comic books and Star Trek duvet and pillow set. - Rosina

Be prepared for dealing with peer pressure

Everyone knows that the stereotypical student lifestyle involves lots of drinking, partying and a heck of a lot of late nights. By all means go out and have fun, but try not to let it impact on your academic and faith life.

The stereotype might exist for a reason, but this certainly isn't the only uni experience available to you! And it's not one that appeals, you definitely don't have to subscribe to it. Getting involved in sports and societies is a great way to meet like-minded people, and you're bound to find people who enjoy similar social activities. In the meantime, it' good to know who you are and what your limits are. Don't let anyone pressure you into something you're not comfortable with.

Set limits outside your comfort zone, but limits all the same. If the people you are with give you too much grief about it, leave. You'll find other people. - Duncan

You can find even more tips and advice on the SCM blog and in our Going to Uni Guide, which you can order as part of a free Freshers' pack full of resources to help you prepare for university.

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