Sunday, 4 September 2016


September is here and summer is officially over. Students across the country will soon be flying from their parents' nests and flocking to their new uni halls or back to their student houses. However for me, that will not be the case. Yes somehow I made it - it has now been 7 weeks since my graduation ceremony and the fact that I am no longer a student is still something I'm getting used to. Gone are the days of 10% Topshop discounts, cheap nights out at the local club and living with the best friends you could ever make. However one thing about university life I most certainly do not miss is pulling all-nights. No, not ones on the dance floor, but one's in the library when a deadline is looming - note to any current or future students: don't leave your work until a week before the deadline. You'll thank me later. And whilst we're on the theme of uni advice, here are my other tips for surviving university... 


University can be daunting at first and can easily turn into a lonely place if you struggle to make friends - but believe me when I say you meet your best friends at uni. However, these friends won't just appear on your doorstep (unless they're drunk and have accidentally mistaken your room for their own). Some make instant friends with their flat or coursemates, bonding over a shared love of MAC lipsticks, but others don't. You may have to put some work into it, and actually socialise outside your initial comfort zone in order to find your bestie but once you find them you'll realise they were worth the wait. Joining a society, hanging out with people in your halls other than flatmates, or even getting a part time job will guaratnee you will meet like-minded people that you will bond with for life. I was even making amazing new friends right up until my last week of university that I only wished I had met sooner!

This is a mega important one unless you want to end up balls deep in an overdraft that you will never pay off *cry*. It's best to work out how much everything will cost, like rent and bills, and factor in some spending money for "activities". This way you should be able to keep track of how much you're spending and not go overboard when online shopping. DO you really need another bodysuit? Or more importantly, can you afford another bodysuit? The answer is probably no - unless there is a sale on which you can also add your student discount to, then the answer is YES YES YES. (A side note to this is to borrow your friends clothes. Saves you loads of money, and you'll never have to wear the same outfit twice!).

Whilst it's important to manage your finances, definitely make the most of your student discount whilst you're at uni. You'll find you get 10% off in lots of stores like Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Equally, your Student Union is a great place to eat for super cheap and is an easy way to save a buck or two - it all adds up in the end.

Going out clubbing and consuming alcohol on the reg is part of the uni life, and especially fun during freshers. It's important however to know what your body can handle, and don't ever feel like you need to drink just because everyone else is. Mixing sambuca shots with cider and vodka mixers is never a good idea, so if you want to avoid a dreaded hangover the next day and having your mates roast you in the group chat about all the crazy things you did but can't remember, I suggest sticking to one kind of drink for the night - your head and stomach will thank you for it the morning after. 

Whilst going out and having a cheeky bev or two whilst dancing badly to a Rihanna song is all well and good, (unfortunately we can't all werk like Ri Ri no matter how much wine tells us we can), sometimes you just need a good night in. Get your friends together and watch a bad Lindsay Lohan movie; make a roast dinner as a group; play cards against humanity, or chubby bunnies. No matter what you decide to do, often you'll find its the quiet evenings in your student digs that create the best memories. Also allow yourself alone time - sometimes you just need an early night with a classic Harry Potter book wondering why your Hogwarts letter still hasn't come in the mail.

Unless you want your diet to consist of McDonald's and potato smileys (which is totally cool if you do) I suggest you learn some basic recipes - spag bol, scrambled eggs, and fajitas are all firm favourites. Cleaning is another biggie. Living in halls you'll often find that cleaners will take care of communal areas, but the cleanliness of your bedroom is down to you (and your mum when she comes to visit). Plus, once you move out of halls and into a student house, there won't be any cleaners to take care of the burnt pan marks on your hob (unless your mum loves you A LOT). 


As stated so wisely earlier, it is probably not the best idea to leave your assignments until a week before a deadline. It is oh so easy to fall into the habit of putting off work for as long as possible, procrastinating by watching videos on the weird end of YouTube. But you'll find that deadline will soon creep up on you and you'll spend many of the following days and nights furiously typing away to reach your word count. The best way to tackle this is to make a timetable or schedule of when all your assignments are due and work a little bit each day towards completing it. It will seem like less work if you do it in stages and you can reward yourself when you complete each paragraph of your essay. 


Let's be honest, you're not going to listen to that previous tip are you? Stick to a deadline timetable? Of course you're not, you're a student! Students don't do work! But on the off-chance you do make a start on your work, you'll probably head to the library, so it's best to know your way around. Quickly locate the vending machines and figure out how to use the printers, as no doubt you'll be snacking all night whilst simultaneously killing hundreds of trees reprinting your work (please refrain from this as much as possible, we like trees). Try and find yourself a quiet spot away from the main computer areas as you don't want to get stuck next to a girl telling her friends a ridiculously long-winded story about why Aaron was a dick, or someone playing the Sims without any headphones - not everyone comes to the library to work.


Lots of people find that their weight fluctuates whilst at uni, and this is totally normal. This could be due to a single or combination of causes including stress, poor diet, and/or drinking lots of alcohol. I was lucky and never had any serious weight issues whilst at uni (if anything I lost weight rather than gained it like most people), however I decided to join a local gym in my second year. Not only did it give me something to do outside of my studies other than binge Netflix in bed, I actually found it fun. I bonded with my gym buddies, and felt good about myself when I completed a particularly hard work out. You can often get a student discount on your membership as well, so no need to worry about it costing a fortune - just make sure you factor it into your money management. 


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