I Wish I Knew That Before I Went to University…

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If you are going to university soon, you will no doubt be intrigued by what the next few years are going to be like, especially if you are moving far away from home. You may think that you have a good idea regarding university life, but most people find that there are plenty of things that surprise them along the way. Read on to discover some of the most common things that people wish they knew before they went to university…

  • The transition is going to big for your parents too – Your mum or dad may find your university move more of a shock to the system than you do. Don’t be surprised if you get numerous texts and calls in the beginning. They are probably just feeling a bit lost without you!
  • Facebook is vital – For some of you, this will be music to your ears. For others, you may hate Facebook. However, now is the time to embrace social media, no matter how unwillingly. Facebook will make your introduction into university a lot easier. You will be able to get to know people on your course beforehand, and it is a great medium for nights out, societies, and project groups.
  • Enjoy it – The most crucial tip of them all; make sure you enjoy the experience. It is easy to get caught up in the stress of new social groups, debt, exams, and deadlines. Don’t let this ruin your experience. Make the most of it; it’s a once in a lifetime sort of thing. Well, unless you go back for your Master’s Degree, but that is certainly not the same! The last thing you want to do is look back on your time at university and wish you had approached it differently.
  • Student accommodation is a lottery – If you are moving away from your local area, you will be looking for a room for rent while at university. Most people opt to stay in student accommodation on campus. While this is undoubtedly the best way to go about it, as it will make it a lot easier to integrate, there is no denying that it can be a bit of a challenge. You are going to be put with five or six random people, and it’s a complete lottery. You may find your best friend for life, or you may end up with a bunch of people you never want to see again. Either way, it is all part of the experience.
  • You’ll realise you’re not very good at budgeting – You get your student loan, great, you’re set for the year. Fresher’s month comes and goes, and you look at your bank balance and you’re wondering how 2-for-1 shots have made such a massive dent! Take this piece of advice; learn how to budget before you start your studies. Being thrifty with your money can make all of the difference. This does not mean that you have to stay in your room all of the time either!
  • Don’t try to be a part of every society – It is a good idea to join an array of societies in the beginning, so you can get a feel for what they are like. But, don’t try to stick with them all! It will become a nightmare trying to juggle everything.
  • You’re going to make a lot of mistakes – This part of your life is all about learning. You will probably burn your dinner a few times, and you will no doubt end up dying your washing a different colour, but hey, it’s all part of the process!
  • Be careful about your belongings – When you share a kitchen area or a living area with other people, once you start leaving things, people may automatically assume that they are for everyone. And, coming in with a load of ground rules may not be the best way to start your university experience. Of course, if someone is overstepping the mark, you shouldn’t let them. However, if you have items that you don’t want anyone else to touch, keep them in your room. Moreover, avoid buying expensive plates and cutlery, it’s really not worth it.
  • The people you meet in freshers aren’t necessarily going to be your best mates – You will be shocked by how different your circle of friends is when you compare the conclusion of your degree with when you started university. You are going to meet lots and lots of new people along the way.
  • Set up another bank account for your student loan – This is one of the best ways to budget more efficiently. You should set up a separate bank account, and ensure your loan is placed into this account. You will then need to transfer money across every time you are going to spend it. This will give you better control over your loan, ensuring you don’t spend on impulse.
  • Find a good house when you move out of halls – Most students are only allowed to live on campus for the first year. Once this passess, you will need to find accommodation with your friends. A lot of people make the mistake of moving into the cheapest property they can find, which ends up being truly gross. Don’t choose something unbearable, you are going to be living there for two years at least! The same goes for your landlord. The last thing you need is a nightmare landlord giving you grief while you are trying to complete your studies.
  • Learn how to cook some proper meals before you go to university – You cannot live off frozen pizza, even if you would like to! Plus, weeks and weeks of microwaved meals will quickly take their toll. Learn how to cook some basic meals before you go off to university. Spaghetti Bolognese is a good place to start, and you can always make a big portion and freeze some.
  • Go easy on the reading list – You do not need to buy each and every book that is mentioned on the book list. Not only will this cost you a fortune, but there are some books you will barely even use. Instead, check out the library or find out whether you can access the book online. Most lecturers will give you the heads up regarding which books are actually worth purchasing.


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