Semester two has begun, and I thought I would take the time to share some freshers advice. Uni can be a daunting and difficult place and sometimes it isn’t for everyone, but here’s what I’ve learnt so far.
1. Throw yourself into anything and everything! Things that you’ve never tried before, things you already know you enjoy, just anything that will give you a new social circle and a new skill set. I’m trying my hand at TV, Radio, and the Newspaper.
2. Fresher’s week is crucial! Whist going out and trying out the newest clubs is very fun, it is equally as important to make friends! Attend the Fresher’s fair, look at the societies spend time with your flat and people in your halls of residence. Join the relevant social media groups for your course and make those connections from the word go! Don’t isolate yourself.
3. Always make time for people, especially people at home. Be that shoulder to cry on for your flatmate because you never know when you will need that kind of support. And catching up with people at home regularly will make the move away much easier.
4. Set up a budgeting sheet for University! Trust me you will thank me later. I was even considering doing a separate post for this and a template of the one that I created, and I still might, but just understand that you should be keeping a track on your weekly spend, and breaking this down into food shopping, going out, and other expenses such as accommodation and train tickets. You don’t want to blow your loan in the first few weeks (and trust me it happens).
5. Invest in a calendar or diary. I use both, a small desktop one which I can use to quickly see the date and write on the most important things, and then my diary which I write in smaller details which helps to keep me organised and remember where I need to be and when. I have also pinned a list to my wall which tells me when all of my assignments need to be in so that I will never miss a deadline.
6. Make a weekly food plan. This will not only help you to save money on your food shop (you will only purchase necessary items) but will also help you to decide what to eat each night and should keep you relatively healthy.
7. On a food note, make sure you leave yourself time for breakfast. The mistake I made in my first semester was going to bed stupidly late, waking up just before my lecture and running out of the door. Now I give myself at least an hour and a half to get up, get ready and eat. It means that I’m always prepared for my day and I feel more positive in the morning because I’ve had enough time to properly wake up.
8. Invest in an external hard drive if you can. You never know when phone storage will run out, or your memory stick goes missing, and there’s nothing worse than losing your work, so this will prevent those heart sinking moments.
9. This should go without saying, but do the work and do all the readings when you get them! If you don’t it’s all going to stack up and you’ll be unnecessarily overwhelmed. Uni isn’t designed to catch you out or bombard you with work, it’s to help you independently manage your time and your work. I do the work on the day set, and I normally find I have more free time doing it that way.
10. Don’t feel pressured. If you’re already a strong person then great, but if you can be easily lead then it’s time to break out of that habit. You’re going to be meeting people not just from all over the country, but from all over the world, and everyone has different experiences and different backgrounds. If there’s something you don’t feel comfortable doing, no one’s going to see you any differently. They’ll probably respect you more for sticking to your own boundaries.
11. Make time for yourself. Living in such close proximity to your friends is amazing trust me, but it can make it harder to make time for yourself. Whether that’s closing your door for a while and listening to music, or going to the gym to let off some steam, it’s important to get some self love. I blog for some me time, sometimes I meditate, and sometimes I’ll stick a film on.
12. Finally, don’t feel that there’s a right or wrong way to do university. What I’ve just shared is merely advice from personal experience and what I wish that somebody had told me before I started, but honestly Uni is a different experience for everybody and it really depends what you want to get out of it. I wanted to gain independence, confidence, and the opportunity to prove to myself what I’m capable of, as well as make lifelong friends, and I feel that I’ve already done that!
Uni will be an amazing experience for you, and you will definitely find yourself and find your feet. Make it your own and be yourself, and you couldn’t hope for a more exciting time of your life.
Are you starting Uni this year? Or already there?