For many people, the first year at university can be a daunting prospect, especially if it involves moving out of the house, away from the family nest, and if you don’t know anyone where you are going. But it is also an exciting time and one that can offer you a ton of opportunities.
Your first year at uni gives you the chance to make new friends, explore new things and also get yourself settled into your new life, so it is important to that you live every second and make the most of the opportunities that are out there for you.
If you are going into your first year at uni, here are some tips to help you along your way and ensure that you are successful in your endeavours…
1. Keep on Top of your Finances
If you have moved out and are living away from your family for the first time, you will most likely be completely responsible for your finances for the first time. This can be worrying for some people and you should look into budgeting to ensure that you don’t get into difficulty.
According to Glide, who help students to organise and split household bills, “Learning to manage your bills will help you sort your finances, save money for nights out, and prevent any aggro in your house over bills and who owes what.”
Make sure that you know how much you are spending and that you have enough money coming in to be able to pay your bills off as soon as they arrive. You should also remember that if you are getting into financial difficulty, there are plenty of people who can help you, including student services at your university.
2. Join Societies and be as Social as Possible
Much of your first year at uni is about making friends and setting out the direction that you hope to go in over the next couple of years. You will probably find that there is a wealth of clubs and societies that you can join. These are a great way to meet people from all year groups, who will have at least one thing in common with you.
Joining a club or society in your first year also gives you the opportunity to get your foot in the door and is the first step towards joining committees in the future.
This is your chance to do more of something that you love, make changes in your life (joining a sports team, for example), or try something completely new if you fancy it.
3. Get into Good Habits
If there’s one thing that you’ll hear over and over in your first year at university, it’s that it doesn’t really count towards your degree. This could be true, but this is still your opportunity to get into good habits and become used to the ways that university-level study works.
Try to use this time to get into good study habits; attend the lectures, do the extra reading (you’ll probably end up having to read it anyway), make sure that you’re not behind after your first year, get to know your lecturers and get familiar with the layout of the library!
4. Take Advantage of the Perks
Students are well-known for having little disposable income. However, this means that there are always student discounts and student deals that you can take advantage of. Whether it is happy hour in the pub, student discount cards in clothes shops, student railcards, discounts at restaurants, or student bank accounts, there are perks out there, and there for a reason, so take advantage of them.
5. Enjoy Yourself
You are at university to study, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t also enjoy yourself. You probably have more freedom than you have ever had. You can plan how you spend a lot of your time. You will almost certainly have more time with your friends than you have ever done before. You should be studying a subject that you love and feel passionate about.
Life as a student isn’t always easy, but there is also plenty that you can do to enjoy yourself – and that doesn’t just mean going out and getting drunk, or even spending a lot of money….
Whether it’s exploring a new town or city, going on a social or just having a film night in with your housemates, make sure that you also take time out to enjoy yourself.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly you settle into your first year at uni, and before you know it, it will be all over and you’ll be into your second year. So, make sure that you make the most of every minute that you have and make it one that you will look back on fondly for the rest of your life.
Guest author bio: Imogen Clarke is a freelance writer who specialises in topics surrounding mental health and student living. Her diet typically consists of coffee and snacks. When she doesn’t have her head in a book, she can usually be found with her dog, Charlie.
- Homepage, Glide, https://glide.co.uk/
- ‘Student Debt Help and Advice’, StepChange, https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/student-debt-help.aspx
- ‘5 Reasons Why You Should Join a Uni Sports Team’, University of Suffolk, https://www.uos.ac.uk/content/5-reasons-why-you-should-join-uni-sports-team
- Homepage, 16-25 Railcard, https://www.16-25railcard.co.uk/
- ‘Student Bank Accounts’, Money Saving Expert, https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-bank-account/