Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Top Tips & Advice for Starting University

It’s coming to that time of year now where some of you will be finding out if you’ve got into university. I’ve just finished my first year so I still have it all fresh in my mind how I felt when starting university and what helped me get through it!
As every one has different feelings about starting university I actually asked my flat mates how they felt and what advice they would give so I can give you the best advice possible. Some people are much more confident about leaving home and making new friends whilst others find that terrifying!
I’ve put together our top tips & advice for starting university, we hope you’ll find this helpful and if you have any other questions feel free to ask in the comments or tweet me and I'll be happy to help.

Get Involved
At university there are so many opportunities to try out new sports or skills as well as continue with the ones you already love. Joining a sports club or society is a great way to make friends and take your mind off work and being away from home. Definitely go around your universities freshers fair to see what yours has to offer.

Give it time
Like I said earlier some people find leaving home really hard, I remember shortly after freshers week it all suddenly hit me even though I am normally a pretty independent person. It’s inevitable that you’ll feel somewhat upset leaving your friends and family behind at home but just give it time and you will make some amazing new friends and you’ll learn that living away from home really isn’t that bad. I’ve had times where I’ve cried on one of their shoulders and they’ve done the same back, yet we had only known each other for a few months!
Skype, Facetime or just a phone call home or to your friends every so often is good to do.

Watch your money
For most people this will be the first time you really have to watch your money. It’s so important to budget for food, drink, going out, materials for your course and more. 
Don't buy every book on your reading list! I bought a few of them and then read the rest at the library, and this has probably saved me at least £100. You would think that now we’re paying £9000 a year they would be included but unfortunately not.
With these ridiculous fees we’re already quite in debt so you don’t want to get even further into it. What I did to find out my budget was I divided my loan up by how many weeks there were in that term and then that would give me a guide on the absolute maximum I’m able to spend a week. Just for security I tried to be about £10 under that budget. My food shop cost at tops about £25 a week and I make most my food from scratch if that’ll help give you a guide if you’re going to be self-catered. 
You may have to say goodbye to some luxuries or just not be able to have them as often but you can sometimes find cheaper alternatives or use student discount, which will become your best friend!

Don't feel pressured
There is a lot of peer pressure especially when it comes to drinking; those who do this aren’t worth being your friends. You should never feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to. Don’t think that you won’t make friends if you don’t do it, of course you will, there are plenty of other ways.

Avoid reputations
Reputations spread like wild fire at university so avoid getting one! Whether the reputation is about being lazy on your course in teamwork projects or sleeping around, people will quickly find out about it and won’t want to work or be with you.

Balance work and play
Whilst at university you want to make the most of your freedom by going out, chilling with your new friends and exploring the city but you need to remember the real reason why you’re there is to learn and complete a course. Keep a schedule of when your deadlines and when your lectures/seminars are so you then know when you’re most free to have fun.

Don't expect you'll love everything on your course
You will probably find that you won’t enjoy every aspect of your course but that doesn’t mean the course isn’t right for you. You will find out where your strengths and weaknesses are, it’s pretty impossible to be amazing at it all! Sometimes you end up enjoying the things you hated at the start. All courses have to cover so much and you may not even have to do some of it again in the future.

Avoid comparing your work to others
This is more aimed towards those on creative courses, but it does also relate to those on academic courses. For the first time you’ll be working along your future competitors and of course you want to be the best you can. With creative courses you will see other peoples work as you go along and it’s a natural thing to compare your own work to theirs but try and stay true to yourself as that’s the only way you’ll learn and also just remember that you may have strengths that are their weaknesses.

Keep an eye on your health
Freshers’ flu is very common and not exactly pleasant, but being careful of your health doesn’t stop there. Illness spreads so quickly in halls as you’re living with a lot more people than at home so make sure you're registered with a local surgery just incase! 
If you’re self-catered a lot of people forget to eat their fruit, veggies and other important vitamins. I have a multi-vitamin every morning just to make sure I definitely get them! 
Drinking a lot of alcohol isn’t great for you and we all know it, so try and drink plenty of water in the day and before bed or even have an alcohol free week every so often to cleanse your body.
Join the gym or a sport club to keep your self active, the facilities are usually great and the memberships are often much more affordable than commercial gyms.

I really hope some of these have helped you and congratulations on getting into uni, I wish you all the best! If you're at university or have been and have some more advice, feel free to leave it below! 


  1. Great advice, I'm starting uni this year and I'll definitely be taking your points on board!! :)

  2. Thank you, I hope they help! Have an amazing freshers x


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