Summer is officially over.
It’s that dreaded time to put away those sun glasses and bikinis and start preparing ourselves to return to those textbooks that have being collecting dust. For some, you may be just advancing to the next stage but many will be starting university over the next few weeks (if not already). If you are one of those people reading this, please proceed. As a current student myself, I was once in the same boat as you and is therefore lending a helping hand to make sure you don’t a) ruin your first year b) make the same typical mistakes most freshers do. So here are a few tips to remember you ensure that your fresher year is a smooth one!!
1. MAKE THE MOST OF FRESHERS WEEK!! Seriously do and I don’t mean get wasted every night, I mean join a society or sports club, explore the campus so you are prepared when classes begin and also your local surroundings (supermarkets, high street stores etc.). It’s good to familiarise yourself with the area as you would be more or less living there for the next three to four years. Also by joining a club/society of your interest means that you will meet others who share an common interest.
2. BUDGET!! Don’t think because you’ve received £1,000+ government loan that you can blow it on luxury items that will be of absolute no use after one rave. That loan is (supposed) to support you for the whole term including your rent, food and travel (if necessary). So blowing out a fortune on designer clothes is not recommended unless you plan on surviving on cereal for the last few weeks of term.
A few ideas on ways to save money may be to make an abundance of food to store in containers that may last for a week, preparing lunch instead of going spending £3 everyday in Tesco or Sainsbury’s and also buy a NUS card which allows get a discount off travel and selected restaurants and clothes stores.
3. ATTEND YOUR LECTURES!! Though for most universities first year grades don’t count towards their final grade attending your lectures and seminars in first year is just as important as attending them in final year. Completing coursework and essay pieces with time to spare is much better than doing it at last minute which is NOT advisable (all-nighters in the library is not worth it, trust me) so plan your time wisely and try to study or read your textbook and/or notes at least one (or two) hour per day.
Personally I wish that I followed this advice as it would’ve probably made my first year at university much easier to handle. Despite taking away good memories, it was one of the most stressful years I’ve ever experienced as I ended up in my overdraft and homesick. University is the ultimate experience and for many it will be their first time experiencing independence away from their parents and home-town so it will be daunting at first but remember you are in the same boat as thousands of others so drink, study and best of all…HAVE FUN!!