You’ve got your results from school, and it’s good news, you’re going to university. It’s an extremely exciting point in your life and you’ll grow up, learn how to live independently, and make friends that will last a lifetime. But what can you expect from university? It can seem pretty daunting especially if it’s your first time moving away from home.
If studying away from home is not something you’d like, you could Study Online at Aston. You might not get exactly the same experience, but you’ll still come out with a degree. However, don’t stress, everyone else is in exactly the same boat. Here’s a handy guide from a graduate, on how to survive university.
Things To Take With You
When you move into your student accommodation, there’s likely going to be nothing in there, so you have to consider what to take with you when moving in. Make a big list and go room by room, depending on whether your accommodation will have a living room or separate bathroom for example. You’ll need everything from pots and pans to plates and cutlery. Be sure to take your bedding, coat hangers for your clothes and any storage for your belongings, especially if you’re sharing a space.
If you have plenty of family members, make sure to ask round to get some second-hand furniture that they might not be using. Students often manage to get the majority of their belongings through hand me downs, and they can often be the most costly if buying brand new, such as a kettle or microwave.
When it comes to the end of the year though, be sure to have a spring clean because students are excellent at hoarding. The less you take home with you, the better, for both you and your parents!
When To Move In
A lot of universities will have different move-in dates, so be sure to consult any literature you’ve received through the post or over email regarding your university initiation. Most universities will also have a Fresher’s week which is normally filled with various campus events to get the chance to meet other students and get to know your surroundings a little more. This is also when the nightlife kicks off, so you really don’t want to miss it.
You’ll also need to figure out how to get all your stuff to the campus so be sure to plan ahead. You may have the luxury of your own car or that of your parents but if not, be sure to ask around locally if anyone may be attending the same university and wants to share the cost of a moving van.
Having all these sorted before you go, will avoid having to do it last minute, especially if you are hiring a vehicle or paying for a service. It always tends to be more costly if you leave it too late.
Know Your Timetable
As it’s your first year at university, understanding your timetable will be a bit like starting at school again. Your surroundings are new, and therefore you’ll likely get lost trying to find your classes. A lot of the courses will have a brief chat that’s held in the building or room you’re going to be in for that semester before your course officially starts. It’s great to go along to this so you’re then familiar with how to get there from your student digs and the timings of when you should leave etc.
There might also be aspects of your timetable that may clash, and this often occurs if you’re doing a joint/dual degree. Don’t panic if this happens as you can always flag this up either through an online university portal (if the university has one) or with your department.
Try and get this sorted as soon as possible to avoid any further complications, you don’t need that hassle when you’ve just started your classes.
Get To Know Other Students
Part of university life is going out and socializing with others who have similar interests to you. The friends you make at university are likely to be those that you have for the rest of your life as they are with you at the point of your life where you are becoming an adult. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet others, here are a few suggestions.
- Go to an event - Your campus will regularly hold events within the university grounds whether that’s through a society or by the university itself. Some of the best night outs can be had at your student union so be sure to go along with your housemates.
- Join a society or sports team - Around the first few weeks of joining university, there will often be a day where all the universities societies and sports teams will set up stalls to encourage new students to participate. This can be a little overwhelming at first, with so many people wanting to grab your attention, but don’t stress. Take your time and sign up to as many societies that you are interested in. You might not join all of them, but at least you won’t miss out on a group that might be just your type.
- Take part in study groups - This is something that usually happens around exam period. Students or tutors will form study groups to help those who need extra help and advice on an upcoming exam. These are normally advertised on bulletin boards around the campus so look out for these if you’re after a study buddy.
Help With Homesickness
You’ll definitely find yourself feeling homesick at some point during your first year at university. Whether that’s missing your parents, friends or just missing your hometown. It’s very common for this to happen because, for many, it’s the first time that you are away from home and life as you’ve known it, for longer than just a week or two.
There will be plenty of others in the same boat so you never should feel alone in this situation. If you’ve made close friends, talk it through with them but if it’s something they’re not able to advise on, always approach a student guidance counsellor who should always be readily available for you, should you need one.
Having familiar items can also help with homesickness whether it’s a jumper, a lucky charm or a few photos of family. Making your own space personal to you is certainly going to help you with being homesick and will allow you to make the most of your university experience.
Managing Your Money
This one is a big one because being a student can sometimes be a costly expense, particularly if you enjoy the nightlife aspect. Managing your money is just one of the elements you have to master in living independently. Before you start at university, be sure to know how much you have to live on each semester. You may need to find a part-time job if money is a little low or if you realize your spending habits are too high.
Break your outgoings down and note how much will be spent on the necessities like your accommodation and any bills you might need to pay. Calculate how much you might need for food per week and then add on any extras like your mobile phone bill, for socializing and shopping. The last thing you want is to get yourself into debt as that will make life a lot harder when you graduate. There’s plenty of apps now available that help manage your money easier such as Mint or Wally. These can save you from making those dangerous spending splurges.
Remember To Look After Yourself
It’s one of the most important things you’ll need to do at university, and that’s to remember to look after yourself. Know your limits when it comes to your body, whether that’s drinking alcohol on a night out or the amount of extra studying you do outside your course. Don’t push yourself too hard as this can often leave you feeling burnt out which could actually hinder your studies than help them.
As you progress through university, your course tends to get a little more intense as each semester goes by. Always factor in this when taking on extracurricular activities or a part-time job. Your studies are obviously the most important factor of university, but you are also allowed to have lots of fun and make all of the memories.
If you’re considering further education after school, always do your research before applying. You ideally want to know what course you’d like to study first and then the universities you’re interested in going to. Be sure to speak to your school about the grades you’ll be expecting before committing to applying to those universities. University is a once in a lifetime experience so if you’re going or you are already there, be sure to make the most of every second as it’ll teach you a lot of life skills, preparing you for adulthood.