If you’re one of the lucky ones who is going to university in September, we imagine you’re starting to get excited. Ignoring the dreaded results day (which will be fine), just a summer stands between you and your university experience. It’s a brilliant time.
To make sure you are clued-up and ready for September, we’ve got a list of things every student should know in order to make that first semester as easy as possible.
Check out the reading list before you go
The fun of freshers’ week should certainly not be disturbed by realising you had something to read for your first week in classes that you haven’t prepared for. You’ll get your reading list sent to you early, so use it in the long summer and get ready.
Make your first night count
There’s only one first night, so make sure you make it a good one. Get to know as many people as possible, and let them get to know the real you. It could be the night you make friends for life.
Get to know the city for yourself
It’s likely if you’re studying away from home that you won’t know the city well. Grab a student bus pass and get to know it for yourself; researching the hot spots and checking them out. You’ll be able to scout out the best and most affordable pubs and restaurants, and build up a list of great places to go.
Give everyone a chance
Everyone at university is different, but the one guarantee is that everyone is nervous and worried about making friends. Get to know everyone who comes your way in the first few weeks, whether they seem like your ‘type’ of person or not.
Learn to budget
Going to university may well be your first real experience of managing your money, and boy it’s a good lesson to learn early. With a student loan and overdraft at your fingertips, it’s easy to lose sight of your spending. To prevent this, learn to budget, looking at the money you have coming in compared to your monthly outgoings. Try to give yourself a weekly budget, and get a part-time job if you think you need more flexibility.
It’s tempting to forget to look after yourself when you’re away from home. Before you know it, you’re eating junk food, drinking too much beer and not getting enough rest. Freshers’ flu can have an impact after the first couple of weeks, so battle it with lots of sleep, fresh fruit and vegetables and lots of water.
Get to grips with time-management
Don’t spend your first year asleep or procrastinating – instead, learn how to manage your time properly to get the most out of the experience. Plan your day to make sure you have clearly-allocated study time, and the rest you can do what you want; you can socialise, get involved in societies – or catch up on some shut-eye.
Get work experience as soon as you can
It’s never too early to start getting involved in the world of work and adding some points to your CV. Find time to fit in some work experience or volunteering, and get ahead of the competition. Try something new, or in your chosen field.
Join a society
Societies are a brilliant way to meet new people who have the same interests of you. Whether you have an interest in sports, music or other activities, there’ll be something for you. And of course, if there’s not a society you like the look of, there’s nothing stopping you from starting your own.
Ask for a discount
Query everywhere you go whether student discounts are available. Most places are now very student-friendly, and want to encourage you to visit – so whether you’re going to the hairdresser’s, a restaurant or a theme park, ask about a discount and save some pennies. It’ll soon add up!