I’ve been living in London for 3 weeks now and have just come to terms with the fact that Freshers is officially over – we had our final Freshers party a couple of nights ago. Boo!
From my experience with starting university and attending my classes for the first time, I thought I’d generate a list of useful advice for those who haven’t yet started university. Most of these are quite obvious but I hope that you find this helpful anyway.
If you’re only just applying for university, you probably haven’t yet thought about the moment where you’ll receive your student loan. Before I started university, nobody told me that I would have to wait until I had fully enrolled at university, and then a few days for the bank to sort itself out, for my student loan to come through. Knowing this, I would advise you to enrol as soon as you possibly can. The longer you leave it, the more out of reach your money is. This could end up causing you problems with rent, bills etc.
Make the most of your student discount! Sign up to UniDays for all of the online and in-store discounts. All you have to do is confirm that you’re a student using your university email address. Also, if you have a student bank account, some banks – such as Lloyds – send you a free NUS card. That’s the card that most shops will ask for in order to give you a discount. My university also offers a discount card that can be used in the on-site cafes and bar. Nothing tastes as good as a heavily discounted hot chocolate from Costa Coffee.
This is essential. Nobody wants to be one of those shy students that hesitates to go to events or talk to new people. If you don’t throw yourself in the deep end and attend freshers events, you’ll definitely regret it. I’ve met some amazing people just by talking to them in class or socialising at the events. Remember, everyone’s in the same boat as you so nobody’s going to judge you for introducing yourself. Also, a lot of Freshers events are free so you don’t have to bankrupt yourself for the sake of making friends. Look out for the “FREE ENTRY” and “FREE FOOD” signs.
Take as many notes as your poor hand can handle. Write everything down. You will not remember it. This doesn’t just mean taking notes about what you’re studying. Write down timings, room changes, directions, EVERYTHING. You don’t want to be the only one getting lost and struggling to find a room because you forgot to write it down. Also, you don’t want to be late or miss out on something because you forgot to write down the time you’re supposed to be somewhere. Even taking a screenshot of your online timetable is useful. I would also recommend keeping a diary, especially if you have 4 different classes and 4 different lots of homework a week like I do.
No student loan or grant will enable you to survive on Dominoes or McDonalds for the entirety of the year. At some point, you’re going to have to turn on the oven, or microwave if you’re only a beginner. Not only will this save you a lot of money, it will be better for your diet. You need to be properly fed in order to attend all of your lessons and be able to concentrate.
This one sort of links in with note taking. By organisation I mean keeping a diary, pinning things on the noticeboard in your room, setting phone reminders and alarms. All of these things will stop you from forgetting important information. The first couple of weeks of university are quite hectic. You need to find a way to balance looking for a job, attending classes, meeting friends, doing homework and loads more. Like a said before, WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. This will prevent you from having to deal with unnecessary stress, hassle and confusion.
Thank you for reading!
I really hope that you found this useful and can take some of this advice, even if you’re not going to university.
Ways you can reach me:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: @courteneyjn
- Instagram: @courteneynoonan
Bye for now,