Wednesday, 10 September 2014

How to survive your first year at university

Well done to everyone who got the grades they needed and are getting ready to start their university adventure, I am going into my second year and thought I'd try to make your transition that bit easier by sharing a few tips and hints. Whilst your at it make sure to check out the three posts I wrote near the start of my university life - 'How not to get home sick',  'Student Survival Guide' and 'Surviving Freshers Week'.
1- Budget
Seriously, I heard this many times before I left for uni and let it go in one ear and out the other, feeling rather confident as I knew I wouldn't spend too much money and this just wouldn't be a problem. How wrong was I ?! I could never have foreseen how much you can spend whilst at uni, in particular your first couple of months when you've bought all your fresher's tickets and then you want to socialise as much as possible to make friends. Those moments when you and your friends are hungry at around 2am so order a Dominos take away, oh awkward - is that just me? Those days when everything is just going badly, being tired and a tad of home sickness could be kicking in and the best solution is a little pick me up purchase, coffee (no explanation needed there), the panic fancy dress party outfit. Basically, by themselves you don't realise it but suddenly you whack up quite a bill and you don't want to get too well acquainted with your overdraft, if at all! So it's time to learn how to budget - I personally feel that you do need to be able to treat yourself once in awhile (sorry mummy) but I do think it does give you a little boost and just that excitement of having something new, but I definitely did this way too much last year and that's my major thing to cut down on. Also just a tip - be prepared for your tutor to suddenly send emails around with payments you need to make, be it for trips or equipment, and you really need to make sure you have enough money to pay them straight away.
2- Get clubbing
I am sure you don't need any encouragement to go clubbing, I actually mean join clubs and societies. I was pretty lazy about joining clubs as my university didn't offer many but we could join the ones of the university next door. I found this way too intimidating, to have to venture into an another unknown building just after getting myself acclimatized with my university, so I decided to give this a miss and it's something I definitely regretted. I slowly signed myself up for a few different clubs/classes which included surfing and ballet and it was so great to meet new people, chat about different things and just to be doing some exercise - as that definitely cheered me up if I was having a down day and I was in serious need to get fit.
3- Fresher's flue
This nasty little thing was floating around the university hall ways and it was inevitable (hello Brad Pitt and Channel) if there was something going around I'd catch it. This 'flue' is basically like when you go to nursery for the first time and you pick up all the other children germs because you're not used to being around them and it's probably just linked to being over tired! Just catch it at the start, don't ignore it like I did as I ended up getting really quite sick and lost my voice, had a nasty chesty cough and spent a good weekend in bed feeling sorry for myself!
Just enjoy yourself, really make the most of this incredible opportunity and don't take it for granted. Most importantly remember you are there to work, so get those grades you deserve and make yourself proud!

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