September has arrived and for some, that means the start of a new chapter in their life.. uni. For me my uni years were some of the best years I’ve had so far, particularly my first year, so, anyone starting first year this year you’re in for a treat. Over my time at uni, I picked up a few tips and learned a few things along the way that will hopefully make your uni life even better.
1. Get to know your flatmates – you’ll probably already know where you’re going to be living by now and most uni’s will have a Facebook group where you can find other people who’ll be living in your flat or building. This is a great way to find the people you’ll be living with and start to get to get know them before you move in. For me getting to know a few of the people I’d be living with before I even got there really helped me feel less nervous about the whole thing. Make sure you all get to know each other and make some plans to go to events together. Also, drinking games are a great ice breaker.
2. Attend as many events as possible and don’t be afraid to just start chatting with people – go to your freshers fair and sign up for any societies that interest you as these are a great way to meet new people with common interests. Your uni will hold events each evening throughout freshers week and these are a great opportunity to get to know people, obviously, things will be a little different this year though so make sure you follow the guidelines that have been set out but don’t be afraid to just start chatting to people.
3. Meal plan and never go shopping without a shopping list! – Going shopping with no list and having no idea what to buy will only lead to spending WAAY too much money on your food shop. Always make a meal plan of what you’re going to eat each day, you could even create a Pinterest board of recipes for inspiration, then make a shopping list based on the meal plan. This way you’ll be going shopping prepared and you’ll know exactly what you need which will help you to avoid just throwing random things into your basket and overspending.
4. Create a budget – you don’t want to spend your whole student loan in the first week so creating a budget for yourself will be beneficial. I knew so many people at uni who were either living in their overdraft or had completely run out of money. Not good. Take the amount of money you’ll have to live off each term and divide it up into the number of months it needs to last. Then take off all of your expenses e.g. rent, bills etc. Then from what’s left decide how much you’ll budget each month for food shopping, socialising and anything else. Also, don’t forget to put some money into savings each month so it’s there if you need it – you don’t need to spend every penny you get. Also, sign up for as many student discount platforms as possible e.g. Student Beans, Unidays & NUS, they’re a great way to save money. And NEVER buy your textbooks unless you really need to, you’ll be able to borrow them all from the library for free.
5. Decorate your room – living away from home for the first time and being somewhere that’s not your family home can feel a bit weird at first but you’ll get used to it. I found decorating my room really helped me to feel more at home. Get some nice bedding and maybe a throw blanket and some cute cushions for your bed. Put some pictures up on your walls, fairy lights can also make your room really cute and cosy, get some nice desk accessories, a few decorative bits and also a scented candle or a diffuser to make the room smell nice, you can also use the same scents as what you use at home to remind you of home.
I hope you found these tips helpful they’re all things that really helped me. Although the most important tip of all is HAVE FUN! Enjoy yourself as much as possible because your uni years will be some of the best years of your life. It will get stressful at times but once you graduate you’ll be wishing you could go back and do it all again.
xoxo – Alice