The new term is fast approaching, and your new university life beckons. You feel a mix of nerves and excitement and are probably wondering how to get settled into your new life as a student.
Here are 10 top tips to help you navigate through your first year of University:
- Get to know your university- It may sound simple, but this is the best way to meet people and learn about how you want to fit into your University. Find out about any societies or workshops you’d be interested in, any trips abroad they’re planning that you’d like to be a part of, or even if they offer a study abroad programme. Universities offer once in a lifetime experiences that you will look back on with fondness, so make sure YOU don’t miss out!
- Make as many friends as possible- Universities have a very eclectic group of students- you’ll meet students from abroad, older students and younger students. Embrace the diversity and use this as an opportunity to learn about the people you’re studying with. You will most likely make friendships that will last even after you have left University.
- Sign up to societies or extra-curricular activities- Not only is this a great way to meet new people and get involved with the University, it looks great on your CV, and will help take your mind off academic work when you want to de-stress.
- Get to know your area- You’ll be living there for a while, so familiarising yourself with the area is very important. Research your nearest bars and find your favourite places to eat and grab
coffee. You’ll need these places for when you’ve been stuck in your room studying all day,and need to get out!
- Budget, Budget, Budget- Everyone knows the student life is all about learning how to be financially efficient. You’re already in debt, you’re living out, and you have travel and academic expenses piling up. Make sure you don’t let this get on top of you. Make a list of all possible expenses, including bills, commuting costs, food, academic fees and supplies, etc, and write down how much each will cost. (Remember, overestimating is much better than underestimating). Once all your expenses are accounted for, allow money for socialising and leisurely activities. You may even want to consider putting some money into your savings account. This way, you know exactly what costs to expect every
month,and aren’t caught off guard. Remember, budgeting is a great skill,and isn’t just limited to student life. It will definitely come in handy later on in life too!
- Stay on top of your workload- Just as you need to stay on top of your costs, you’ll also need to remember to stay on top of your academic work. Plan in all tasks and find a routine that works for you. Some people may prefer to work early in the morning, whilst some may work better in the evening. Whatever it is, make sure you don’t put things off to the last minute- you’ll avoid a lot of additional stress!
- Adapt- Your living arrangements may not be what you expected. Just remember, this is the beauty of student life. It’s all about taking you out of your comfort
zone,and assimilating you into a new way of life. Embrace it. You will adapt and find things easier as time progresses.
- Devote time to finding your second-year accommodation. You may not have a vast array of affordable options, but learn from your current situation, and try to improve on the next one. Did you hate living alone, and feel like you’d fancy living in a house with other students? Or did you not enjoy living with other students, and would much prefer to live by yourself now? To act on either of these decisions, you’ll need to set aside time to look for accommodations that suit you best. There is nothing worse than rushing around to find accommodation that you will be living in for the next year.
- Ask your tutor's questions – it’s what they’re there for. University tutors are experts in their field. That’s why they’re there. Use this to your advantage to
soakin as much knowledge as you can. Question, debate and take advantage of the fact that they are there at your disposal.
- Lastly, take time out for yourself- Starting University can be daunting, and no doubt, there will be periods of stress. Find the right balance and give yourself time to relax and unwind. Mental and physical
wellbeingis just as important, if not more, than academic success.