10 ‘Must-Knows’ for Starting University

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As most of you probably know, I have just graduated and four years have literally flown by! However, I wish I had known a couple of things before going to uni – it would have made things so much easier! So today, I am going to try and make YOUR uni experience a little bit easier by giving you a few pointers:

  1. Befriend your house-mates – If you’re living in halls you probably don’t know who you will be living with this year so try not to keep to yourself. Get to know each other, try having meals together or going out together. Of course there may be times where you feel like you just don’t click or they aren’t your kind of people but it’s so important to have a good relationship with the people you live. When you come home, you want to relax after a long day of work at uni, not sort out issues with house-mates. Inevitably, there will be bickering and arguing but wouldn’t it be great to minimise that? If you do end up having issues, try and sort it out as quick as you can because the awkwardness and animosity is literally unbearable at times!
  2. Reading lists – You really don’t need all the things they tell you to buy on that reading list. I wish I hadn’t spend about £200 on law books in my first year! They are literally untouched. You’re really only going to cover a few chapters from each book and most universities have module guides for the course. Now, I’m not saying you should solely rely on these module guides but try getting the books from the library? Or maybe try getting the e-book instead?
  3. Societies – Join them. Join most of the ones you like because this is a great way to make friends with people with similar interests. It also looks great on your CV. I know most of you probably aren’t thinking about CV’s right now but mind you, I ended up getting a Diploma from my university in addition to my Degree, just because of the extra credits I earned from my extra-curricular activities. So do not under-estimate them!
  4. Pasta – This is going to be your go-to meal when living out. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to cook because being at uni will definitely teach you that. I’ve made some really weird combinations and you will too. It actually ends up being really funny when you get to experimenting.
  5. It’s your stuff – If you don’t want other people using your things then find a safe place for them. If you’re going to leave it lying around then you’re basically giving others permission to use it. But if you want to be really careful then either invest in a cupboard lock or keep your things in your room.
  6. Cleaning – Most people hate cleaning and are the least bit bothered by dirty surroundings (especially guys!). But if you’re a little OCD like me it’s really worth doing a rota. Now, I know there may be times when people don’t follow it but you’ll just have to remind them (politely, because you don’t want to be naggy). I was lucky enough to have housemates who cleaned most of the time last year but the year before that it was a nightmare! I always ended up cleaning most of the time but you might not be okay with that. So try and set certain cleaning days for certain people or something along those lines. Same goes for taking the trash out.
  7. Budget Budget Budget – Some of you might have never had a salary and so probably don’t know how to handle money. Or even if you have had a job, you might not have been paying for things like rent and groceries so you may not know how to budget for them each month. I remember the days when I would get so excited when my student finance came in but would eventually come back to reality and realise that most of that money was for rent and bills. It can be so tempting to spend your student finance installments but try and control yourself people! Maybe open another account where you debit monthly installments so you have some kind of savings?
  8. Facebook – I know a lot of people don’t like social media and specifically facebook but honestly, it is SO easy to keep in touch with people and up to date with uni events if you are on facebook – even for group projects. So try changing your ways by making a profile because it will definitely come in handy!
  9. Find your friends – A lot of people have a hard time making friends. Some are lucky enough to have amazing house-mates in their first year who go on to become their best friends. But some of you may not be. So don’t be afraid to go and say hi to people or stay in touch with acquaintances as they can eventually become your closest friends. It’s all about making the effort because honestly, university is the one place where it’s the easiest to make friends so don’t let this opportunity go. It’s better to have a few friends rather than know everyone because after university it’s usually those few friends who you end up staying in touch with. Don’t hold back.
  10. Lastly, HAVE FUN. My four years at university were the best years of my life. and have definitely made me a better person. This is your time, so please don’t waste it! Go to as many parties and events as you can, and part-take in as many things as possible because you won’t have this kind of opportunity again. You’ll learn so much, experience different things and most importantly, meet great people!

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