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Thursday 10 September 2015

Top 10 Tips For Starting University

 Starting University and moving away from home can be a super scary experience, I know personally I was extremely nervous before leaving for University, so I thought I would share my top 10 tips with you to make your first year as enjoyable as possible.

1) Be sociable
I know it sounds a bit obvious, but make sure when you arrive you don't lock yourself in your room, the first day is crucial in making friends with your flatmates. Leave a wedge in your door to keep it open so people know to come and say hello.

2) Bring Decorations
Most University bedrooms are very crummy and un-homely, so I made sure I printed a tonne of photos of friends and family to stick all around my room. You will be surprised how much more homely this will make your room. Another brilliant thing to take with you is fairy lights - there's nothing like falling asleep with fairy lights on when you are feeling homesick.

3) Don't be "that person"
Don't label your food with your name straight away. I don't know if I am the only one who thinks like this, but personally I think it screams the thought that you already don't trust your flatmates. I know it is quite likely that once or twice during your first year some of your food will go missing, HOWEVER it really isn't worth making yourself look paranoid and stingy in the first week.

4) Bring all the Fancy Dress items you have
The students Union will make any excuse to have a fancy dress themed night, so make sure you bring all your dressing up gear. Most Universities will have a "Sports Fed" night where all the sports teams go out in force in a specific fancy dress theme. It's a brilliant atmosphere so make sure you get involved and dress up as stupidly as possible, no one wants to see the generic 'Schoolgirl Slut' outfit, it's time to whack out the giant 'Crayola Crayon' costume!

5) Go to as many Freshers events as possible
Freshers week (or fortnight in most cases) is the best week (or two weeks) of your year, and potentially of your whole University experience. I'm not going to lie, you will be absolutely dead if you go to all 14 nights, but it really is worth going to as many as you can. Not only is it a great opportunity to make friends, as everyone is much more laid back after a drink or two, but it is also a great way to make memories with your new flatmates. I went to 12 out of 14 of my nights and I do not regret doing them (my liver might say otherwise!). 

6) Don't go all-out at pre-drinks
As a student, money will obviously be short, and you will find that the cheapest nights out are the ones where you have a large pre-drinks session before heading out. Saying this, it is extremely easy to get carried away at pre-drinks and spend the night lying half out of your bathroom door (only me this has happened to...?) instead of heading out to the Students Union with your friends. Make sure you pace yourself at pre-drinks, it sounds simple, but when you start to feel a bit queasy don't fall for the "WE LIKE TO DRINK WITH DAENA COS DAENA IS OUR MATE, AND WHEN WE DRINK WITH DAENA SHE DOWNS IT ALL IN 8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1..." - the hangover and falling asleep in your puke is not worth it.

7) Join Clubs & Societies
Joining clubs and societies is somewhere I went wrong, and I really regret it. I never joined any societies in my first year and I wish I had, as they always seem to have the most fun and the most wild nights out. As I previously mentioned, most Universities will have one night a week dedicated to sports teams and societies going out, so being part of these societies is a great way to make new friends you probably wouldn't have met otherwise.

8) Don't leave Assignments till the night before
This is something that I never did *pats on the back*. However, I have plenty of flatmates who did this, and the stress they were under was unreal. It is so much better to start your assignment when you get it, and work on it over a week or two rather than cramming the night before it is due. Universities really are not lenient with handing in work, if you miss the deadline that's it, you will get a fail. 

9) Go to Lectures
Again, another tip that sounds absolutely ridiculous as the main reason you're going to University is to learn, but trust me, the temptation to not go to your 9am after a heavy night is real. Just always remember how much you are paying to be there, and how lucky you are to be going to University and go to all your Lectures and Seminars. Not only is it making the most out of your money, but it is also giving you the best chance of passing first year.

10) Shop and Cook With Your Flatmates
The cheapest way to cook is definitely to cook with someone else. You will find that most things in the Supermarket are made for two people, so I found the cheapest thing to do for dinners was to shop with someone else and eat the same meal. My first few weekly shops were around £50 which is just insane, compared to when I cooked dinners with my flatmate and I spent around £25. 

I hope that these tips have been helpful to those of you who are starting University this month. It will be a wonderful experience and it will go by in the blink of an eye so make the most of your first year before the hard work begins! If you have any other tips please leave them in the comments below!

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