Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University
You’ve slogged your way through secondary school and managed to achieve the necessary grades for your chosen university. What a buzz!
We bet you feel a full range of emotions – right?
Maybe you’re already picturing yourself walking through the uni’s campus, socialising with friends and the day you receive your degree whilst wearing the coveted cap and gown…whatever you’re dreaming of, it’ll soon be reality.
But wait a minute, let’s back up a bit and go stick with the present.
There’s lots to think about once you’ve decided on where you’re going and which student accommodation you’ll be living in.
Your first few months of university life might be confusing, but that’s why we’re here to give you a helping hand.
We’re the experts in all things uni, y’know, since we’re a student accommodation company?
So, we’ve compiled a list of five things that (generally) students wish they knew before starting university!
1. Prepare For Independent Living
For years, you might have been raring for the independence of living alone, with none of your parents meddling in your affairs.
However, independence is not something you’ll enjoy if you haven’t prepared for it.
Forget having your laundry done, dinner prepped and your lunch packed, this new way of life will leave you to fend for yourself.
As a matter of fact, you’ll probs find popping home for a weekend is like living in the lapse of luxury! You won’t take it for granted ever again.
So, in order to prepare, why not try learning a few new recipes and house chores? Or, at least understand how to cook simple meals and use a washing machine…maybe that’s a good start?!
It may not seem like much fun, but we promise it’ll help massively when you move to university.
2. DON’T Blow Your Student Loan!
Learning how to handle your money will not only affect your student life but will also impact how you handle your money as an adult after graduation.
As a student starting university, you now have the freedom of living away from home and handling finances off your own bank. More importantly, your student loan.
And no, that doesn’t mean splashing your loan in the first week…as much as we know you’d love to spoil yourself!
We advise you to budget a little and save your money for when you really need it.
Don’t forget you literally have to pay for everything, such as your accommodation, food, laundry and funding your nights out.
Now think about it, you wouldn’t wanna cancel a night out ‘cos you’ve blown your money on the latest designer bag – would you?
Some students find having a part-time job alongside their studies helps them manage their wages. It’s a fab idea and can even be a great way to make some new pals.
We wouldn’t suggest having a full-time job as you might struggle to balance your course and lifestyle.
3. Annoying Flatmates Alert
If you’re living in shared student accommodation, then you need to prepare to not like everyone.
Mainly, you’ll get along with most of the individuals in your flat, but there might be the odd one or two that just do your head in (and that’s okay!).
Don’t put pressure on yourself to like everyone you live with, ‘cos you’ll begin to feel like you’re the issue if you do.
Your new friends are just as excited as you to begin the student life! Just prepare for what’s to come, such as a messy flatmate who doesn’t wash up or a party animal who’s up till early hours of the morning!
4. You Probs Won’t Need To Pay £££ For Your Reading List.
Some of your books online will cost hundreds of pounds and it’s worth knowing that you don’t have to pay that much when starting university.
There are so many other ways you can get a hold of textbooks you need for your course.
Firstly, your library will have a huge stash of books, so why not just hire it for the period you need to use it? Oh, and make sure to take it back ‘cos you don’t want the library staff on your back.
They will also have an online library which you will be given access to at the start of the year. From here, you can search to see if it’s available to be read online.
Honestly, this will save you SO much £££ that you’ll be able to book that night out with your extra income!
If you do need to buy a course book ‘cos you can’t get it online, then deffo search around on Ebay and Facebook Marketplace for them second hand.
5. Forget Leaving Your Deadlines Till The Night Before
Well, it’s your personal preference how you decide to tackle your deadlines before starting university, but just don’t leave them ‘til the night before…please.
Not only will you regret it, you’ll end up with a completely messed up bedtime routine and a crappy piece of work.
You’re best prepping a while in advance of deadlines and doing little bits here and there.
It’ll just make your life so much easier and way more enjoyable.
6. First Year Doesn’t Count (But That’s No Excuse!)
Honestly, it might not count towards your degree classification, but it sure has a massive impact on your academic ability and knowledge.
We bet you’ll feel way more prepared for second and third year if you get the foundation set when starting uni.
Don’t be one of those students that says ‘oh, I wish I knew that’ or ‘no one told me it would help’ – you heard it here first, so go get those good grades!
7. Homesickness Is Real
While it may be easy to get caught up in your new study load and activities, it would be helpful to keep your relationship with your family and closest friends strong.
There will be times when you will feel homesick and alone while you juggle through multiple projects and exams, and the best comfort can come from knowing that you have a strong support system behind you.
You may not know it, but your family might also be worrying about how you are doing, and a call from you can also ease their anxiety, knowing that you are okay.
Even simple things like giving them a quick facetime or sending a little message. You’re bound to feel better in yourself if you do, so do it for your mental health and for your family’s sake.
Don’t feel alone if you’re feeling homesick, there’ll be so many students who’re in the same boat as you! It’s important to acknowledge and get help ASAP!
8. Pace Yourself During Freshers Week
Oh gosh, now this is a biggggg one!
Don’t try to impress your new friends on the first night, honestly, you’ll only end up being bed ridden with a sore head.
Induction week will be happening alongside freshers, so making sure you pace yourself so you can head to uni the next day is essential.
It’s also suggested to not spend too much money during this week. There’s going to be so many events on and it’s important you manage your time well.
9. Think Ahead
It’s never too early for you to think and plan for the starting university.
Why not begin researching what societies you might like to get involved in? Your student union website will be super helpful for this.
Or, you could even look around at activities to do in your new city as a student!
10. Start Getting Excited!
Now you know exactly what you need to smash your way through university, it’s time to start getting excited about your first year!
Soon enough, you’ll be heading to your student accommodation and saying goodbye to your childhood home.
This new chapter in your life is super exciting, so soak it in as much as you can! Most people who’ve been and done uni will be super jealous of you, so prepare to live the life everyone dreams of.
We hope you’ve learnt a lot from our blog – 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University! To help you out even further, we have a blog about how to budget as a student.