University Survival Guide.

There are many factors which all students should consider to ensure that their time at university is both rewarding and enjoyable. I have attempted a ‘university survival guide’ based on advice those before me shared and the experiences I encountered throughout my time at university. I have collaborated my top 5 tips.

1. Ensure accommodation is viewed before signing a contract.

For those who decide to live away from home, suitable accommodation will be necessary. First year students will likely apply for student halls, whereas second and third year students will be looking to rent privately i.e. shared housing; I would highly recommend viewing the accommodation before signing a contract to ensure expectations are met.

Those applying to student halls should attempt attend an open day at the preferred university and take an accommodation tour. Furthermore, when searching for accommodation to rent, after the first year of study, it can often be difficult to organise a time suitable for all room-mates inquiring; if this situation arises, ensure that an alternate time is decided upon for the remainder who were unable to attend. Judge for yourself.

2. Party hard as a fresher.

Live as there is no tomorrow during first year! This is the period of time where all dignity is lost and friends are made :-P. Additionally, first year doesn’t contribute to the final grade of the degree, which I didn’t realise until after I had started university. Need more be said…

Priorities will change as students progress to second and third year of study as the intensity of work increases; however this will depend on the degree. Be prepared to become best friends with the university library.

3. Ask lecturers for help when needed.

The style of teaching and learning at the university stage of education differs significantly from that at school; the level of independent learning students are expected to undertake increases, therefore additional reading and background research are both important. This should not be used as an alternate to attending scheduled classes.

As a result, it is likely that at some point or another situations will arise where students require assistance. Common reasoning includes:

  • not understanding the course material
  • not understanding the requirements of an assignment
  • requiring guidance if university has become affected due to external influences

However, for any reason, ensure assistance is sought by contacting the most appropriate lecturer. Remember: lecturers are there to help, and sought after the best interests of their students.

4. Keep expensive and favourite foods hidden.

Let me explain: I guarantee at some point as a student, all will live with a borrower, aka food thief so to avoid this hide favourite and expensive foods in a secure location.

5. Budget.

Money management will be advice encountered frequently before starting and once attending university. This was a poor aspect for me as a student due to my shopping addiction, but as a female can you blame me? I fortunately worked during the summer months which funded clothes shopping without spending any student loan; a part-time job of some sort would be highly recommended and advantageous for a little extra disposable income.

If a part-time job is not part of the student agenda then advice services are accessible at a university’s student union to help students budget their money.

I apologise for the length of this post but I hope it is useful. For those of you who are currently midway through your student life or those of you who have completed student life, please share any additional advice you may have. Alternatively, for those of you considering university or start in September feel free to ask any questions, I’d gladly do my best to help.  

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