Let’s face it, there’s going to be more than one part to this post over time. I’ve got plenty of ‘experiences’ to share with you all.
September 2016 was the month many 18+ year olds left their parents and headed off into the grand land of independence that is Uni living. Straight into high heels, copious amounts of alcohol, late nights and *lots and lots of studying (there you go parents and lecturers reading this). Independence, doing what you want, when you want. Perfect.
But very soon the novelty wears off when you’re sat there craving Mum’s roast dinner with a pile of dirty clothes and no money. The realisation sets in that you have to pay for cleaning products?! Pay for toilet roll?! Pay to do washing?! Uni is an incredible experience, but after talking to some freshers I’ve decided to start a Student Survival Guide. I’ll add bits to it over the academic year in separate posts but here’s the first three instalments – enjoy!
Survival tip no.1 – dealing with flatmates
Do try to get on with everyone, but don’t try to be someone else to fit in. You aren’t going to get on with everyone. Living with complete strangers can be really hard at first and leave you with a flat divide over ‘who was meant to take the bins out’ or ‘who ate my cheese?!’. At the end of the day it’ll be what it’ll be.
Just don’t create a whole situation out of something little, you all have to live together for the year. It really isn’t worth it. Just accept that you are not likely to get on with everyone and that’s ok!
Survival tip no.2 – money doesn’t grow on trees
Most of us entered uni from a part time job, money coming in every week and being able to spend it on what we want….bliss. Not any more, that student loan has to go on you know important things like food. It’s a downer, I know. The loans come in, morale surprisingly rises when you realise how much you can buy with the money. It’s also surprisingly easy to splash the money in the first two weeks on alcohol.
But here’s the thing, as annoying as it is budgeting is the way forward. There’s nothing worse than avoiding looking at your bank balance whilst living the life of luxury then having to get your parents to bail you out of your overdraft. Trust me, they won’t be happy. This didn’t happen to me, but plenty of others!! It also is possible to not live on a diet of baked beans if you budget well enough…
And don’t forget, it’s always cheaper to have a good pres (Pre-drinks) before you go out! It saves you so much money in the long run.
Survival tip no.3 – it’s ok not to like it.
This links to my post about when things don’t go as planned but after talking to freshers it does seem like a big thing.
It is ok not to like it. Just because you don’t hear of people dropping out at home or failing doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. It also doesn’t mean that it is the end of the world. It’s fine that you don’t like it. You know your own mind.
And the realisation is, you will not be alone. I can guarantee there are numerous people on your course feeling the same. But talk to academic advisors, that’s what they are there for. As awkward as it may feel, they will be more than used to it. And your friends too, they may be feeling the same.
At the end of the day you’ve got to be happy. And if that means staying at uni, then great! But if you decide it’s not for you, then that’s great too! It’s a good thing that you know your own mind. My course lost a considerable amount of people at the end of the year – it feels like there’s hardly any of us left anymore. Just remember, it’s not the end of the world.
So, to the lovely person who this post is for – don’t give up. Everything happens for a reason and it will all work out.
But enjoy your first year freshers! Have plenty of laughs and enjoy uni life – I miss first year so much.
I’ll be adding to this survival guide in other posts so stay tuned!