40 University tips from a surviving first year!

As my first year of University draws to a close (thank god), I thought I’d share my top tips from what I’ve learnt as being a newbie Student:

  1. Start looking as early as you can. Going on lots of open days and reading up about the variations of courses is the best way that I can advise choosing where to go. When you arrive somewhere, you’ll know straight away if you want to live there or not.
  2. Apply for accommodation early!
  3. When you know which flat you’ve been allocated, post it in the Facebook group for your accommodation and find your flatmates ASAP – talk to these people!! You’ll be living with them for a year, maybe more!
  4. Figure out who is bringing what for the kitchen, we ended up with 8 bottles of fairy liquid, 4 sets of pans and loads of tuppawares.
  5. Apply for student finance as soon as possible so you don’t forget it and you get it out of the way – another thing ticked.

Here are some more important points!

  1. Get a student bank account. Santander offer an amazing account where you get a £1500 overdraft and doesn’t charge you if you go over (trust me, you will be needing this), and they give you a free rail card which saves you loaaads when you’re going home for weekends.
  2. Have an idea in your head of what to buy to bring with you. Make lists on your phone divided into each room so you know what to buy: kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
  3. Buying stuff for your own place is VERY EXCITING…can’t explain why, trust me you’ll understand.
  4. Move in day is stressful, try not to kill your parents.
  5. Keep a suitcase at uni for when you go home and if you go away anywhere on trips.
  6. Do the shopping together in bulk from Iceland or Aldi, trust me, you’ll be sharing food – it’s cheaper and easier than asking if you can borrow someone else’s bread.
  7. Make a kitty to buy communal things e.g. milk, butter, ketchup.
  8. Get to know your neighbours! Join block group chats on Facebook since there’s guaranteed to be a party somewhere around you.
  9. Your folder will be your best friend – try to be organised, it pays off.
  10. Your desk will be covered in post-it-notes.
  11. Print out your course information for each module, it’ll give you a better understanding of what the hell you’re paying £9000 a year for.
  12. YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY THE TEXTBOOKS ON YOUR COURSE (mostly). They’re often available in the library, if you get in early enough, they’re very expensive and it’s likely you won’t use them (even though you’ve been told to).
  13. Find cheap takeaways on justeat (Merdocs is really cheap and lush if you’re in Sheffield).
  14. Find cheap alcohol – bucks fizz is £2 in Tesco, they also do decent rosé (Silver Bay) for £2.80.
  15. DON’T LEAVE YOUR ASSIGNMENTS TO THE LAST FEW WEEKS! You’ll learn this in your first semester when you really have no idea what you’re doing, you’ll wise up by the second semester (hopefully).
  16. Become familiar with the library and where there are usually spaces.
  17. Freeze your meals in tuppawares e.g. bake a vat load of pasta and make portions for the week.
  18. Accept that it’s going to be loud most nights around 11pm-3am (and 7pm if you live beside a brewery……like me -_-).
  19. You don’t have to do freshers week hardcore, yes go out for a few nights, but don’t feel like you have to go out every night – hardly anyone does that.
  20. Get to know your city during freshers.
  21. Keep your files tidy on your laptop.
  22. Take your laptop to lectures and type your notes, it keeps them orderly, neat and quick (you don’t have to type up your notes at home!).
  23. Try to wash up before a mountain forms.
  24. Same with bin bags…
  25. Buy a huge bag of pasta and cheap 50p jars of sauce from the supermarket, one jar of sauce can last you 4 meals if you portion it properly – this will last you ages if you’re short for cash.
  27. Find out when your rent is paid and when you get your student finance in – so you know how much money you need to have in case your rent comes out before you get your money in.
  28. Find out who you want to live with for the second year QUICK. Get on the hunt for houses for next year around November time. Housing fair’s prop up around December so it’s best to have your eye on somewhere before then so you still have the best pick of the bunch.
  29. You’ll have down days, everyone does, everyone has different ways of dealing with it. I just order a pizza, sit in my room, have a cry, watch Netflix, then clamber out of bed and greet my flatmates and their friends while I’m blurry eyed and blotchy…you’ll feel wonderful -_-.
  30. Try not to stay up late every night, it happens…we have an excel spreadsheet on where to go for breakfast cos we have so many all nighters. But PLEASE don’t make it a regular thing, your body will hate you.
  31. Have every cleaning product possible, just in case your friend decides to piss on your sofa (yes, yes that happened).
  32. Have your friends come to visit/stay with them at their uni, a taste of home is always good.
  33. Don’t go out every week…it’s appealing trust me, but your bank account will hate you when the moment comes where you REALLY fancy a Nandos delivery and you can’t afford it cos you got sloshed on Southern Comfort last wednesday.
  34. It’s okay if you don’t miss home as much as you feel you should, I sure don’t.
  35. Have fun!!! University is the best 3 (or 4 in some cases) years of your life and you DO make life long friends (and some people you’d rather forget – there are twats everywhere), you’re only there once so try have some fun for gods sake!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s