10 Things I Wish I Knew at University
Always believe a graduate when they say that their time at uni flew by, because it really does. You may be about to start your first year at uni, but don’t blink because you may miss the next few years and suddenly you’re in a cap and gown about to collect your degree. Adjusting, studying, balancing, socialising, and everything else hits us all at once as a student, so we are here to make sure that you make the most of it and have no regrets. Prepare yourself for the ride…
Join them. Join them all. Don’t make the same mistakes as many students do and underestimate the amazing impact being a member of society will have on your time at uni (as well as your CV). Not only do you get to meet many people that you otherwise wouldn’t, you get to do something you enjoy in your free time (let’s be honest, you’re going to have a lot of free time). Plus, societies also do plenty of socials, so if you’re afraid of not being able to make friends or you don’t particularly get on with anyone on your course, this is a great way to meet some awesome new people.
As great (and easy) as takeaways can be, cooking will not only save you money but it’ll keep you healthier, too. Save the takeaways for all-nighters or lazy movie days with your housemates and opt to cook instead (leftovers from last night’s dinner can make a great lunch anyway)! No, we aren’t saying cook a la Jamie Oliver, but you can never get bored of pasta if you just switch up the sauce and sides! Pasta bake anyone? De-lic-ious!
3. Social media.
Once your chosen university is confirmed, search to see if a Facebook group has been set up, this can be a fantastic way to get to know those you’ll be spending the next few years with. It’s always comforting knowing that you’ll be starting uni having already made some friends, and it can make seminars much less awkward.
You may not want to think about it, but you should. You don’t have to be strict with yourself, just make sure you are aware of how much money you’ll have left over after you pay your rent so you can spend the rest accordingly. Bank of dad might always be there to help you out, but now is your chance to prove yourself and start being responsible (ugh, the dreaded ‘R’ word). Learning where to spend and where to save is a great skill to develop and you’ll appreciate it when it comes to the end of the semester and you aren’t trying to make that fiver last the whole week. Make use of those student discounts, too!
If your university offers placement opportunities abroad, do it! Whether it’s for your placement year, or a semester, it’s an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss. Get lost in a new culture and develop your skills and knowledge that you otherwise may not be able to. As a student you’ll get loads of support from your uni, so don’t be afraid to jump at the chance. Ask your university for more details, it’ll be worth it.
As uni draws to an end for another year, as much as you may deserve a break, take this opportunity to get some work experience relevant to your future. Not only will it look impressive on your CV, but it’ll make life a lot easier after you graduate too. Unfortunately, a degree is no longer enough to get a job, so be ahead of the game.
7. Mental health.
It’s OK to feel overwhelmed and scared sometimes, especially in your first few months. Make sure to take it one step at a time and allow yourself time to adjust slowly, if that’s what you think is best. It might seem like a good idea to just throw yourself into it, but something that works for one person may not work for you. Don’t be afraid to seek help from your uni, it may seem daunting at first, but they’re there to support you.
As a student, drinking copious amounts of alcohol is an expectation, but it doesn’t have to be a reality. As long as you enjoy it and think the hangovers are worth it, never feel pressured to drink. You don’t need alcohol to have a good night out with your mates, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
9. First year.
It’s easy to slack off during your first year, especially if your grade doesn’t count towards your degree. Your first year is your time to adjust and get used to being a student and all that comes with it, so use that time wisely. Your first year is your chance to make mistakes, don’t be afraid of any slip-ups. It’s all about balance and learning.
The house you live in is very important, you don’t want to deal with any issues, uni is stressful enough without having to come home to more of it. Therefore, your landlord is important, make sure you do loads of research into accommodation and pick one that is as close as possible to perfect for you. At Student Cribs, we pride ourselves in providing hassle-free accommodation for all students renting with us. Our properties are not your usual student accommodation; they’re definitely worth a look. We have student houses in 15 cities (soon to be more), so check us out!