OxBright Tutors Share Their Top Tips for High School Graduates

29 Feb, 2024 | University Preparation

Finishing high school can be a really intimidating juncture – you’re leaving the security of a routine you’ve followed for five plus years, and you’re faced with more options and less structure than ever before. Oh, and your decisions now can shape your future in a huge way.

While this is undoubtedly a difficult time, it also offers more opportunities than you’ve ever had before – and that can be really exciting. To help you balance these feelings, we’ve asked some of our top tutors to share their top tips for high school graduates, from researching adequately to delving into some quality reading material.

Jaskiran, PhD Anthropology

London School of Economics

“Be brave and stay positive. Although it might not always feel like it, there’s an amazing future that lays ahead.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes on your journey to a fulfilling life and career. Often, when you are younger, you have less responsibility and so can afford to take more risks. The greatest learning comes from making mistakes so don’t be afraid to ‘fail’.

Remember to keep going and never stop learning – from your mistakes, from your peers, from the world around you. Always ask for help along the way – it’s a sign of strength, not a weakness. Enjoy the journey, these are the memories you’ll look back on fondly someday!”

James, MEd Education

University of Chester

“My number one piece of advice for unlocking your academic destiny is research before you enrol

Before diving into your future, make sure you check the practicalities of university, from costs to social opportunities. Consider aspects such as accommodation, leisure and food. Put together a budget to check whether you’re going to need to apply for a part-time job to fund your lifestyle. If you’re moving abroad, you can use sites like Numbeo to check the cost of living comparison.

Don’t forget to explore the campus vibes on offer – do you want to live in a bustling city or a quieter town? Examine the career landscape by investigating the employability rates of graduates in your course, and at your chosen universities. Seek out programmes that include work experience and internships, or offer support in finding spring week opportunities and similar. In today’s competitive job arena, good choices are your secret weapon.

Get ready to unlock your potential with the right course and university – your ticket to success!”

Tori, LLB Law

University of Liverpool

My number one tip for high school graduates is to not underestimate the importance of work-life balance! We often hear of this in relation to careers, but it is just as applicable to university.

As much as your degree success depends upon hard work, it also depends upon getting enough sleep to recharge your brain, eating properly to fuel your brilliance, and taking adequate time off to have breaks and enjoy your life.

I achieved this by treating university like a full-time job – I had regular working hours from Monday to Friday, took weekends off, and only worked late when absolutely necessary (basically only during exams). This way, you keep on top of your work while also regularly taking the time to recharge, which is so important for sustainable success and your overall wellness.

Group of students celebrating their graduation

Sam, PhD Politics

Leeds University

My advice is simple. Read! Read old histories, great novels, trashy novels, and deep works. The importance of reading is stressed by many, but exercised by few. The modern age offers endless distractions to the act of reading, but it remains more important than ever to carve out time and focus for it.

Reading needn’t be expensive. Most cities and many towns have second-hand bookshops and free libraries with excellent selections. We live in an era where information is more often than not delivered in bite-sized chunks, with potential biases baked in, but at university you’ll be expected to read and comprehend great texts.

Many of our students now struggle to do this. They find university reading a real challenge because they haven’t read long texts and spend too much time on internet apps. Reading prepares you for what lies ahead.

We hope these tips inspire you to look to your futures with more hope and excitement than trepidation! If you’re looking for productive ways to spend your summer ahead of your next steps, check out our online summer programmes and online internships.


By Sophie Parker

Our Head of Content, Sophie, is responsible for our blog and our resources. She graduated from University College London, where she read English. In addition to her content work, Sophie volunteers with several charities, supporting children’s literacy with 1-12 year olds, and representation in schools for students aged 11-18.

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