So you’ve been at university for about a month now right? I’ve finished my first year so I know exactly how you feel! You might have just moved far away from home, maybe you’re the only one out of your friends that have gone to university or it could just be that you feel unprepared and want to know more.. well I’m here to help! This is my guide to what I believe everyone needs to know to survive first year at university.
Sorting out Money
Your loan from Student Finance arrived and you’ve most likely started seeing a bit of a difference in your bank account. I was in a bit of shock when I first saw the money in my account because I’ve never seen or had that much in mine before haha! Just try not spend all on food, alcohol and clothes before your next payment (no matter how tempting) because before you know it, it’ll be time to pay rent and you’ll be panicking trying to figure out how to pay it.. But don’t worry too much if something does go wrong, we’re all human after all and for most of us it’ll be the first time having this much responsibility. Me personally I set myself a target of around £40 – £60 a week; this includes my weekly food shop, travel money and anything else I might need or want. Obviously what you need might be different to mine but after a while you’ll see a pattern and realise how much you need each week. Maybe try keeping receipts for a while to see what you spend your money on?
So if worst comes to worst and you start to have money problems my advice to you would be to talk to your university! They are there to help you so don’t leave it till the last minute to say you’ve run out of money, they’ll advise you the best way to approach it and help you if need be! Also, if you start struggling for money you can always try looking for a part time job? Update your CV and give it out in your closest shopping area. Sometimes even your university will have jobs especially for students so keep an eye out!
Socialising and Going Out
This will sound easy to some people but for others they might find it hard to come out of their rooms and mingle with others. We know that you’re at university for a reason but don’t shut yourself in your room and just study because you need some time to have fun as well; everything in moderation of course! If you’re living in halls then talk to your housemates and see if there are any student events going on around/outside of your university. I lived in halls last year and it was so much fun so don’t be too scared to talk to them! Fancy joining a sports club? There’s bound to be something that you’ll enjoy or maybe you just want to try out a sport you’ve never done before? Either way it’s great for meeting people and gaining a new skill! And if you’re not really into sports, how about societies? There’ll be various societies at your university that might one of your hobbies or something you really care about! This way you can go to weekly events and get to share your interests and opinions with other students!
Keeping up with Work
It’s hard to believe but we actually pay the £9,000 a year fee for the course not to go out partying.. (I know I was surprised as well) You might as well work hard as we have to pay that much so try and work out a couple of hours in your week to study and do coursework. DO NOT leave to do your work to the last minute!! I’m sadly saying that from experience haha! You think that you can just do it the night before and it’ll be okay but most of the time that doesn’t go to plan. Have you ever thought of having a study group? It might sound a bit nerdy but talk to your classmates or your housemates and see if you guys can get together and all study? It’ll motivate you more if people around you are studying which will mean you get more work done and have more time to do what you want to do. If you get stuck on something don’t panic; email your lecturer. It’s their job to help you!
Asking for Help
For me this is one of the most important things: it’s okay to ask for help! Sometimes things can just be getting too much whether it’s to do with your course or personal problems and we’re allowed to say we’re struggling. Speak to family and friends, they care about you and will want to make you feel better. You can also email your lecturer or someone from your university. There should be a place at your university that you can go to talk to someone, if you’re not quite where that is then look on your university website and all that information will be on there. University is meant to be the best years of our lives so don’t let something big or small get in the way of that!
That’s it from me, is there any advice that you could give about surviving first year of university? Let me know in the comments!
All I can say now is good luck 🙂