With many people starting university this month, we felt it would be a good time to publish a first year of university survival guide! It’s often said that your university years are the best of your life, and they certainly can be, providing you are able to get the balance right! Check out this article for all our tips on surviving the first year and having a blast along the way.
Embrace the new beginning
University is a fresh start. There’s no need to worry about what has happened or may not have happened in the past, as university offers you the chance to start new. It’s important to keep a positive mindset and embrace the next chapter in your life. You’ve got a lot of exciting things to learn and many memories to make!
Look after yourself
As always, the most important thing is to look after yourself. Make sure you are eating well, drinking plenty of water, staying active and social. If at any point you are struggling with anything, it’s important you reach out to someone, whether that be a friend, family member, someone at your university, or a medical professional. There is always someone willing to listen.
Students often have a reputation for winging their way through university life, but it doesn’t have to be like that! Many people get stressed by a lack of structure or plan, so if this causing you issues, plan ahead! If you know you have upcoming deadlines or exams around the corner, then be sure to set an appropriate amount of time aside to solely focus on the academic side of university. The same goes if you know you have some big social events coming up – if you know you need to save money, make a plan of where you can make cuts.
Manage your money wisely
It’s always a good idea to keep track of your finances. Your student loan won’t cover absolutely everything you want to do, so you’ll need to budget for what is important. It’s can be a good idea to hold two separate bank accounts, one for your essentials such as rent, utility bills and food. You can then use a separate bank account for non-essentials such as social events, takeaways, and shopping.
Attend lectures and seminars
If you’ve had a late night, it’s often tempting to just sleep through your morning lectures – but it’s important you don’t make a habit of doing this. At the end of the day, going to university is expensive, so you may as well make the most of it by attending every class possible.
Although lectures and seminar work is often available online, this doesn’t come near to the value you will get from attending in person, where you can ask questions and join in discussions. You’ll also miss out on keeping up to date with your course mates and may find yourself falling behind.
Get to know the area
If you’re moving to a new city or area for university, you’re likely going to get lost at some point. To minimise this happening repeatedly, it’s a good idea to get to know the area you will be spending your university years. Exploring your area will give you a better understanding of where everything is located, and it can also introduce you to new places you want to visit.
Step out of your comfort zone
First year at university is the perfect opportunity for you to step out of your comfort zone. Although it can be a difficult thing to do, it helps to build your character and to introduce you to new experiences. Trying new things can help you discover interests and hobbies which you never knew appealed to you.
Learn some cooking skills
Cooking is never a bad skill to have under your belt, and it can be an essential one at university. For one, cooking your own meals is often much cheaper when compared to getting takeaways every night (check out our student budget friendly meal ideas post for some inspiration). You’ll also be able to eat much healthier if you know how to cook, and it will allow you to keep a balanced diet more easily.
Know your limits
Of course, as a student, you’re going to want to go out and have fun – which is a huge part of university life. However, it’s important to know your limits. Mixing drinks is never recommended, and if you get to the level of not being able to function, you’ll know you’ve gone over your limits. It’s best to line your stomach before a night out and to use some common sense whilst you are out to keep yourself safe whilst you’re enjoying the night.
Your university years are there to be enjoyed. Discover new things, meet new people, learn a lot, and have fun!