Make your first year count with these top tips!
By Sophie-Anne Bradley, from StudentJob.co.uk
Starting university can be a daunting experience for many, moving away from home, moving to a new city and meeting a lot of new people. But it can also be a very exciting time, full of opportunities and your chance to gain independence. Here’s a list of 10 things you can expect from your first year as a university student in London.
#1 | Moving away from home
One of the biggest changes you’ll experience as a new student is moving away from home into student accommodation. It is your time to live independently and now that you’ve flown the nest you will have to cook for yourself, do your own laundry and fend for yourself! While at first it can seem to be a challenge, you will quickly get yourself into a routine and will start to enjoy your new found independence!
#2 | New flatmates
When you first move to uni the prospect of living with up to 10 strangers might be a scary to some but you’ll be spending more time with these people than anyone else throughout your first year. While sometimes it might be tempting to keep yourself to yourself it is important that you take every opportunity you can to spend time with them, especially at first. You are all in the same boat, you’ve all just moved away from home so you’ll all be feeling exactly the same!
#3 | Fresher’s week
This will be one of the best weeks of your life. Everyday there is a jam packed schedule full of activates and parties. You’ll meet tonnes of new people and explore lots of new places! While you may want to participate in every event this could end up being quite expensive, so you might want to prioritise which events you want to participate in and just go to those. Remember to pack your fancy dress!
#4 | Join societies
Try to get as stuck in as much as possible! At university there is a society for pretty much everything, from sports to Disney societies. If there is a sport or activity that you’ve always wanted to try then this is your chance to do it! Not only will you have great fun and meet a lot of new people but you’ll also be able to add it to your CV. You’ll thank yourself later if you get involved at the beginning!
#5 | Budgeting
When your first student loan instalment arrives in your bank account you may feel like you can just spend, spend, spend! However you’ll soon realise that this is not possible and you’ll need to budget your finances to make sure you have enough to see you into next term. Make sure you know how much money will be going out of your account for rent, bills, food etc., and then you’ll be able to work out how much money you have left to spend. Remember to always shop around for the best deals and try looking online for your course books as you will find them cheaper. If you are ever struggling with your finances at university make sure you seek help from a student financial advisor sooner rather than later.
#6 | New way of learning
The transition from high school or college to university can be quite big, you’ll experience a way of learning that you might not have experienced before. At university there is a bigger emphasis on self-study and it is left up to you to meet your deadlines and do your own research. While you will be given support in your seminars a large proportion of the work will be down to you. It may be tempting to go out partying every night, but it is important that you stay on top of your workload, get your assignments in early and you will reduce your stress levels greatly!
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# 7 | Don’t stress
While university is a big step and can sometimes be overwhelming it’s important to try not to get too stressed. There are plenty of people you can reach out to in your university such as student support services and your tutors who are there to help you and give you the support that you need. Also, make sure you’re in regular contact with your family and friends at home as they will always be there to help.
#8 | Part time job
If you are struggling to keep on top of your finances you might want to get a part-time job. The good news is that in student cities there are usually lots of jobs available that have flexible hours for students. Also there are usually jobs available in the student union and shops on campus for students. But make sure that you are not spending all of your time working, leave yourself plenty of time to complete your uni work and also time to party! Search for student jobs in London via studentjob.co.uk
#9 | Friends for life
The other students you will be living with and studying alongside will probably end up being your friends for life. You are all in the same boat and everyone is looking to make friends at university, you will be spending a lot of time with your new friends and will become each other’s support systems. Make sure you treasure the time you spend with the people you meet at university and create as many memories as you can as you will graduate before you know it!
#10 | Enjoy yourself
The most important piece of advice I can give you when it comes to your university experience is enjoy it and make the most of every moment. Your first year will fly by so get involved in as many activities as possible, expand your social circles and don’t hold back! You will grow a lot as a person in your first year and have experiences that you’ll never forget, but don’t forget the reason that you have gone to university, and that is to get a degree. Work hard and you’ll get to play hard!