1. Budget your money.
It’s time to get responsible! So many people blow all of their student loan in Freshers’ Week and are left with nothing. If you don’t want to spend your first year working debts off or grovelling to your parents, give yourself a set amount each week.
2. Visit the University and city you’ll be studying before you get there.
If you’re already feeling nervous about going to University, it will be 10 times worse if you’re heading to a completely unknown place. Get to know (and love) where you’ll be studying, it can only help.
3. You don’t make all of your friends in Freshers’ Week.
Although it is a great way to meet new people, your ‘clique’ in Freshers’ Week probably won’t be the same at the end of your first year. If you can’t or don’t want to partake in Freshers’ Week, there are plenty of other ways you can make friends…
4. Join a society.
…like joining a society! You will be meeting like-minded people to yourself so will have plenty in common. It’s one of the best ways to make friends that you really enjoy being around.
5. There will be constant petty debates.
We very much doubt that you will be able to survive your whole University experience without hearing (or partaking in) debates like ‘North vs. South’ or ‘Scone/Scone’ (we won’t explain them, just wait). With no real answers, they are never resolved and continue to be favourites year in, year out.
6. Make sure that you love the subject that you’re studying.
You will be studying this subject for 3 years. Simply, you have to love it.
7. A lot of people feel homesick.
Whether this happens within a day, week or even months, you will definitely come across people that get homesick. There is lots of support for people feeling like this as it is so common so, if you are one of them, don’t hesitate to seek it out.
8. Make use of the library.
You will be handed an extensive reading list so, if you’re organised, take some of your books out of the library instead of buying them.
9. Secure your accommodation early.
If you have decided who you want to live with in your second year of University early, secure your accommodation as soon as possible. You are then more likely to get one of the better student accommodation in your city.
10. Cooking from scratch is always cheaper than buying takeaways.
The odd takeaway every now and again is fine but if you’re planning on living off them – don’t. It’s just as harmful to your pocket as it is your health so try and learn a few simple recipes before you get there.
11. Make the most of first year.
The point of first year is so you can get settled into University life and a new way of learning. Use this opportunity to find out what modules you like/don’t like and trying as many new things outside the classroom as possible.
12. Do ‘wider reading’ around your chosen subject.
As well as learning the material that University gives you, you will also be expected to complete ‘wider reading’ which means finding your own material related to the subject. It’s a good idea to get a head start by reading independently before you get there (the summer before is the perfect opportunity).
13. Try and talk to the people you’ll be living with before University begins.
If you can’t, don’t worry, but it’s a nice idea to find out who you’re living with before and build a bit of a rapport with them before you arrive. Facebook Halls groups are excellent for this.
14. In private accommodation, always pick the ‘bills included’ option.
To avoid being involved in one of the ‘extortionate bills’ horror stories, go with an accommodation that offers bills included. Sometimes, you can pay slightly more to have this option added to your tenancy agreement (and it works out cheaper in the long run), just ask!
15. Make use of your tutors.
You are paying a lot of money to be there so don’t feel scared to ask your tutors/lecturers for help as much as you need it (you can’t ask too many questions).
16. Invest in a student travel card for your chosen form of transport.
Students get discounted travel and it is a massive weight of your mind if you don’t have to worry about paying for transport later on in the year. Paying up-front will also save you a lot of money in the long run.
17. University is one of the most accepting communities.
If you dream of somewhere where you can just be yourself, University is one of the best places you can do that. No one knows you so you are able to be anything you want to be (we suggest, take this opportunity to be fully authentic to yourself).