As someone who is about to embark on their final year at university, I’ve had countless opportunities to reflect on my experience as a typical student. It is safe to say that university life has not been what I ever imagined it would be.
No matter how ready you think you are, starting your university adventure will bring about heaps of surprises. Here are 10 things to know to help you feel a bit more prepared.
1. Your student loan money isn’t as much as you think it is
Whether you get a maximum or minimum, your maintenance loan isn’t as much money as you may think. You’re going to have a lot to pay for. So, before you start splashing your “free” cash on new outfits, gig tickets, or even holidays, make sure the boring stuff is all covered.
2. Focusing on your mental and physical health is a must
It’s super important to keep an eye on both your mental and physical health whilst at university, as you won’t have anyone reminding you to take a breather. Planning your days, keeping on top of your workload, being sociable, and having some time to yourself all help. If you do find yourself struggling, don’t be afraid to talk about it.
3. The library will be your best friend
The thought of sitting in a library for an entire day may turn your stomach, but once the assignments start piling up you won’t be spending your time anywhere else. University libraries are jampacked with everything you’d ever need to complete assignments. Not to mention, they offer a quie space without distractions. So, try not to write the library off
4. First year does count
There will always be those who will spend their first year skipping lectures, putting in minimum effort, and spending their whole first year partying; all under the assumption that first year doesn’t matter. Your first year is essential for getting used to university life and in giving you the tools you will need to succeed during the rest of your uni career.
5. You won’t be living it up every night
When I first went to university, I was under the assumption that I would be stumbling home every night at 3
6. You may not get on with everyone and that’s ok
Making friends at university can be daunting. You will be surrounded by people from different backgrounds to your own. Try not to feel downhearted if you clash with certain characters. In the real world, you’re not going to get on with everyone you encounter. It’s normal so don’t let it bother you.
7. You don’t have to join every society
During fresher’s week, you are bound to be bombarded by every society and sports team, all pitching their club to you. Don’t feel pressured into joining every society or team. If there isn’t any that you’re interested in, then that’s fine. There are many other things to do around campus in your spare time.
8. Be as sociable as possible
If I could only give out one piece of advice to freshers it would be to talk to anyone and everyone. Being sociable is vital at university. Your own company is good at times, but loneliness at university hits hard. So, go out with your flatmates, make group chats with your course mates, and get out of your room as much as possible… even if you just go and grab a coffee from Starbucks.
9. You’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone
10. Make every second count
Corny I know, but your university years will be the best of your life. No matter what is thrown your way throughout your three or four years of study, never waste a moment.