There are a few things all students wish they knew before coming to uni - get ahead of the curve with our top tips for starting uni life.
Don’t worry about not living in fancy accommodation
Living in a slightly older, ramshackle halls helps friendships blossom and creates a strong sense of community. And if you’re sharing a kitchen with half a dozen people you’ll find it provides you with plenty of opportunities for making friends! Don’t get hung-up on not being able to afford state of the art new-builds, there are huge pros to living in a building which fosters friendship over aesthetic.
It really can’t be said enough, going along to as many events and activities as you can will really help you feel more integrated and at home. It gives you the chance to meet loads of different people, introduce you to new interests you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered and get to grips with the geography of your new university city.
Get stuck in to cooking
Keeping yourself well fed with simple but good quality food is key to helping maintain good physical and mental health. You can’t survive on Supernoodles alone! Before heading to uni learn how to make three or four good dishes, like Bolognese, curry or a veggie chilli. Plus, a good cook in the house always goes down well and sharing your expertise can be another great way of making friends.
Feeling a bit homesick is normal – but don’t give in to the blues
There’s lots of talk about uni being the best time of your life but chances are, even though there is lots of fun to be had, many people are feeling a bit homesick even if they’re not talking about it. Stay in touch with friends and family on a regular basis, and you can put a visit home in the diary to have it to look forward to. However, try to resist the urge to head home on the first weekend you feel homesick - give yourself the chance to settle in.
You don’t have to do everything all the time!
Uni has plenty to offer as well as education; nights out, societies, extra study opportunities, travel and much, much more and it is important to take advantage of all this. BUT. Remember you don’t have to do all of it all the time. Uni can be intense and it’s important to know when to take a step back and take care of yourself. ‘Me’ time is important for your mental and physical health and you shouldn’t feel bad about taking your foot off the pedal. Plus, not all of these thing are everyone’s thing and that’s totally understandable.
Learn to budget
Managing your money is a key part of the uni experience. Have fun at Freshers’ but make sure you have plenty of money for all the essentials for the rest of the semester. Blowing all your money on great nights out might seem like fun at the time but you might get fed up living on plain rice for the last week before the holidays!
Life vs studying
Keeping this balance isn’t always as easy as you might think. Sleep, study, party (pick two). Just make sure you balance being serious about your studies with plenty of time for enjoying yourself too. You only get the uni experience once!