I have seen on twitter recently that a lot of you have just started or are about to start uni. Once upon a day I was a fresher (nostalgic much) so I thought I would share with you some of my advice on how to survive your first year at uni.
1. When your student loan goes in and you have money signs flashing in the eyeballs it may be tempting to go out and blow it all in Topshop…DON’T!! Remember this money has to last you a whole year and it needs to cover all sorts of boring things like rent and books. That’s not to say you can’t treat yourself to a new winter coat or go out every night during freshers week but you need to budget. Work out roughly how much you have to spend a month and if you can try not to spend over that amount. One handy tip is to get cash out and keep it somewhere safe in your room, buying things on your card all the time is a sure fire way to lose track of your spending.
2. One thing I regret about uni was not joining a society. Societies are a great way to meet new people, make lifelong friends and to also go on some amazing trips. There are so many different societies to choose from whether it be sport, art and crafts, languages or performing arts. At your freshers fair keep your eye out for the range of societies your university has to offer and don't hesitate to join any that take your fancy.
3. If you don’t know how to already….learn how to cook as soon as you can. I didn’t know how to cook at all in my first year at uni and spent a lot of my student loan on microwave meals and frozen food. This may seem like a good idea but it’s not the cheapest way to live. Even if it’s just learning the basics like soup, spaghetti bolognaise or chilli, once you know how you can make batches and freeze them. Handy if you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making something with a hangover!!!!
4. I know this one is really obvious, but be respectful of your housemates. Remember you will be with these people for a year. If you borrow a tea bag make sure you return the favour, if you use someones pan make sure you wash it up and put it back.
5. if you can, draw up a rota. It gets complicated when there is a group of you to remember who last mopped the kitchen floor. I lived with 10 people so this was quite difficult but having some kind of structure helped.
6. If you are wanting to get a job during your first year at uni get in there quick. You may not feel like trawling round town with a CV in freshers week but believe me the good jobs go FAST.
7. If you feel homesick don’t be tempted to go home every weekend. I had a few friends who did this and ended up leaving uni all together. I hated my first flat and wanted to go home everyday but I rode it out and after some persistent phone calls to the student advise office they moved me into an amazing flat. I am still friends with most of them today. If you don't like your flat don’t suffer in silence, the university is there to help and there will always be someone you can turn to for advise. Going to uni is scary but everyone feels the same, chances are you flatmates are homesick to so don’t shut yourself in your room, get out there and say hi J
7. Make your room as personal of possible. This is your space for a whole year so don’t be afraid to fill it with pictures, cushions, fairy lights anything that makes you feel like home.
8. Make sure you pay for a TV license, we made the mistake of thinking we were covered being in halls but your not.
9. Walk as much as you can. It may be tempting to hop on a bus to get to your lectures or to go shopping in town but if its not that far save your pennies and stroll there instead.