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Welsh Government

Questions you may have after starting a new course

There's a lot to think about when you start a new course. Get tips to deal with things that may be on your mind.

Questions you may be asking

How can I cope with my workload?

Being in college / sixth form may be completely different to what you’ve done before. You’ll be expected to be an independent learner and manage your time effectively. You may get more assignments and be expected to research more.

It’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed by all the work and new ways of studying. But, there are things you can do to help organise and manage your time well. You should:

  • Prioritise your work. Don’t let things get on top of you. When you get an assignment or project, make sure you know the deadline date. You can work your way back from that date to give you an idea of when you need to start researching and begin the work. Don’t leave things until last minute as this is when you can start to panic
  • Ask your Teacher/Tutor for key dates throughout the year. You need to know when projects are due in and the dates for mock exams and final examinations. Knowing this information helps you organise yourself
  • Make revision notes. It’s easy to leave studying until the final few weeks before the exam but this can add a lot of pressure to you and be tiring. Having revision notes and a schedule of when to look over them, maybe weekly or monthly, will help you remember the informaton. This will improve your knowledge and understanding of the subject and give you time to ask your Teacher/Tutor any questions you may have

Take a look at Top tips to making the most out of college.

What financial support is available?

You may need money when you’re studying to:

  • Cover any couse costs if required
  • Buy equipment, tools or materials you’ll need
  • Travel to and from your place of study
  • Support with living costs if you live on your own
  • Support with childcare costs if you have dependants

What support you get depends on your circumstances. You should:

  • Speak to your college’s Student Service department or your Head of Sixth Form. They can tell you about any grants or support available
  • Visit Student Finance Wales to find out what support is available for full and part time students
  • Look at for information on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if you have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
  • Look at Funding your Studies to know about the different funding options available to support you with education
Is my course/subject still suitable now that I've changed my career idea?

 Career ideas change based on different things, like:

  • Finding out the course you are on isn't what you hoped it would be, so you no longer want to follow a career in this route
  • Discovering a new hobby or interest which has made you consider other career ideas

Before making any decisions about your course/subject you should:

  • Explore your new career idea on Job Information to find out the qualifications you'll need. It may be the course you are doing now will still be suitable
  • Speak to your teacher or tutor about your ideas and see if you can take another subject or course
  • If you're planning on going to university, look at UCAS to see the requirements of different degrees

Remember. Careers Wales can offer you free and impartial advic and guidance. Contact us and find out the ways to speak to a Careers Adviser about your career ideas and options.

How do I get used to new teachers and tutors?

It takes time to adjust to a new tutor or teacher. They may have a different way of explaining things to how you’re used to. You should:

  • Give yourself time to settle and get used to the new way of learning
  • Think about the reasons for being on this course. If this is the course that leads to your career goals then keep focused on those goals
  • If you are struggling to understand things in class, go to your teacher or tutor and ask them to help you. If you can’t understand something, then it’s likely that other people in the class won’t either

If you’re still not happy then you should talk to someone about it. Talk to:

  • Your school form tutor or head of year
  • Student services, student welfare or head of department in college
  • Careers Wales to speak to a Careers Adviser about your options. Contact us
  • Share how you feel with trusted friends and family
I feel like I need further support

If you had support in school, then you may find you're missing this support in college. Don't worry, college may also offer you the support you need to succeed and enjoy college.

Depending on the type of support you need you can speak to the college's:

  • Student services department
  • Disability Adviser 

Tell them:

  • What support you had in school
  • Of any additional learning needs you have
  • About the difficulties you are facing at the moment
  • How you feel you would like to be supported in college

Be honest. They are there to help you, but can only do that if you are honest and tell them what support you need.

Remember. There are many organisations who can support with any concerns you may have. Reach out to organisations who can help such as:

  • Meic – information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people
  • Samaritans – provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress
  • Mind Cymru - the mental health charity
How can I make the most of my time in college and sixth form?

It’s great that you’re enjoying what you’re studying and can see the benefit to do more to make the most of your time. Everything extra you do will help prepare you for your future. Take a look at 7 ways to make the most of college and sixth form.

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