My advice from being at university.

So we are near to the end of 2017. The trees are coming out to be decorated and made to look pretty and the festive season is soon upon us. I can’t believe I have been here for 2 months. I feel that time has gone so quickly! I don’t know how everyone else is getting on or how people are finding it. I know that you learn so much from university and adjust to lots of different things. I hope that you are enjoying it though and getting something good from it. I thought I would write about what I myself have learnt from being here and hope that it can help those who are at university.

Firstly, how is everyone getting on with the money aspect? Are you guys managing okay? I have spoken to some people here and they are just living off their loan and are therefore struggling so I thought this would be an important thing to mention. I think because I came to uni with savings, my loan and my work money (so I still get money coming in) I am at quite an advantage. It can be tough when you are worrying over how to buy food and how to afford little things at uni. We never really realise how much everything costs and what it is like to actually live. It can be very difficult but just hang on in there. There are options!

The way to help yourself with money is to first try budgeting. Get all of your money together, so you know how much you have and work out how much you have to spend daily or weekly and live by that. I think budgeting has saved me being here as I know exactly how much I have to spend a week so that I can budget that across food, washing, socializing etc. I think if you don’t know how much you can spend, it makes it difficult to spend money because you could spend it away before you know it. Help yourself out by budgeting yourself and if you really don’t have that much money, think of what is a priority and rank it. We are at uni so of course we want to go out, but what if we also have no food? Think of what’s more important. If that doesn’t work, talk to someone at home or someone from the uni and they would be more than happy to help. They can help you manage your money and help you get by with the money you have in your bank .There are always going to be options and you will always be able to get by okay. Do not panic.

Next is the course. Whatever subject you decide to study, the workload will be quite similar. There will be assignments, lectures, workshops and finally for some, dissertations. These things are really difficult so please give yourself time to adjust to the new workload. You are not going to be used to it as it is probably nothing you have done before. For example, I have come from College and the workload there and the work here is completely different. You will get used to it and be able to adapt so again, do not panic. If you are worrying, speak to your tutor or lecturer and they will be able to help. You are not the first student to be struggling with the workload. They can give you tips to help manage it.

Next is the people. Wherever you go, you will meet new people. You may see them in your halls, see them in your course, see them around uni and live with them in your flat. There are so many people to interact with so do not panic if there are people who you don’t click with that much or don’t see. There are always going to be people who just aren’t your cup of tea and who will not be the people you leave uni with being best friends. It is really difficult because if you are like me, you just want to get on with everyone and be liked by everyone. A way to fix this? Pull on the people you click with and stick with the people who you’re friends with in your course or halls etc. You will not be alone at uni. If you are worrying about this, please again speak to somebody. They will have had it before where someone has felt lonely and will know what to do to help. Pull on the people that you click with.

Next is the homesickness. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel a bit homesick at least once since being at university. I have had it quite and lot and I have been home twice. It is so lovely to see family when you go home and it is lovely to stay in touch with them, but I find it is also lovely to have some independence. Some people will struggle to live alone and be at uni however I love living by myself and taking care of myself. I am on top of my washing and my cleaning and I cook quite well so I love caring for myself. I think it is a good lesson for when we grow up and live on our own in say a flat. I think it prepares us so well for the future. If you are struggling, please again speak to services that are available in the uni. Tell them you feel homesick or that you are not managing how you want to. They will help you and ensure you can try and deal with that. You are not alone. It just takes time.

Are people eating okay and feeding themselves? I have met some people who feel they struggle in that aspect and if that is you, why not try some student meal books or recipes and try and ensure you eat reasonably healthy. It can be hard to cook properly when we have had long days or when we cant be bothered however sometimes I feel so much better for eating a proper meal. It can be nice to eat properly and fill myself up. Talk to parents and they can help suggest making things. Let you help yourself!

I really do hope everyone is getting on okay at uni and are enjoying their experience. Many people say that this is an amazing journey to go on and that we will treasure it for the rest of our lives. Live every minute and love what you do. Good luck everyone!

All the best, and until next time,