Student Life | Advice to Take on Board

By Issy Goode - 10:51

It's been a little while since I shared some of my experience of student life with you lovely lot for the obvious reason that I am no longer a student! But being a graduate doesn't mean I've forgotten what it's like to be one of you! So here are a few of the realities of student life and some advice that I think would have helped me through university had I known it beforehand: 

So first off, your student accommodation: It really
My first year university room. 
depends on how much you're able to fork out, and often you get what you pay for. In my first year I paid around £3,300 for an on campus room (which you can see in the photo to the right) with a washbasin in a block with 4 toilets, 2 showers, and a kitchen with 3 ovens, all pleasantly shared with about 30 people. In my second and third year I paid just over £3000 for a en-suite room with a double bed in a house shared with 6 people, with bills included except from electric (which is pretty pricey if I'm honest). It varies for everyone, so when you're looking into moving off campus make sure you get your contract checked over and that you understand what you're getting yourself into. Having bills included is often a godsend and can help avoid many house disputes. 

Why did I never join the Quiditch team?
Follow link for source. 
Societies are not for everyone. Personally, I never got myself really stuck into one for the reason nothing jumped out at me. I dabbled with the university magazine and joined the breast cancer charity team at Keele but I found, especially in third and second year, that it distracted me too much from all the work I had to do. I wish I had got more stuck in, but if I had I don't think my heart would have been in it. Everyone pushes you to join societies but if you really don't fancy any, don't feel the pressure to join one. 

House dynamics are always complex at uni. You get thrown in with a bunch of strangers and there's no saying how well you'll all get along. After only a few months you're then told to start searching for a house and decide who to live with. Sometimes, you'll regret the decision and other times you couldn't be happier with the people you choose. Once again it's different for everyone, and I can't say choose carefully because you never know what it's going to be like. When it comes to mess, bills and bin day rotas it may not always be dished out fairly and this can create tension. My advice is, take your time to think about who you're living with, be sure that you can get along with them and don't be surprised if, on occasions, there are a few little tiffs.
Source

Netflix is probably going to be one of your biggest distractions and I'm not going to say don't get it,
because that'd be terrible advice. Just make sure you know your limits (I honestly don't) and that  your work doesn't suffer because of your Netflix binges!

There's almost always something going on at uni. In terms of nights out there will always be someone up for one, and make the most of it all. You do have a decent amount of free time at uni and often it's so helpful to blow off steam. Uni can be pretty high pressure at times, with deadlines coming like a freight train, so take the opportunities to go out and enjoy spending time with your friends.

You'll experience plenty of money woes, but try not to let it really get you down and instead find a balance. When your loan comes in, don't blow it straight away. It may be tough but just attempt to budget as much as possible. Consider your overdraft a godsend too, but don't rely on it, just know it's there if you're a bit tight for money. Don't let money cause you to isolate yourself, and try not to let it constantly stress you out either. I've been stressed out by money an incredible amount of times, but I hate to let it get in the way of me having a good time with my friends too. Find places you can cut back, look for cheap used books on Amazon, don't splurge on expensive alcohol and food and don't buy things you really don't need. My advice when it comes to money and university life is to not let it control everything you do. Money kind of does make the world go round, and honestly you'll feel forever torn between saving and splurging. Just make sure you don't put yourself in the position of stressing out because you've spent it all too fast or stressing out because you've made your budget too tight. Back home it's awesome to have a job that will take you back during the holidays just to top up your funds and also, if there's a job you can get at uni consider all these points before getting one! I worked as a Student Ambassador during my final year and I never felt my job got in the way of my studies at all, I may have only earnt a few hundred from it but it gave me that bit extra and also added something impressive to my CV!

Know your limits. It's boring when people say that right? But with alcohol comes not only hilarious stories but horror stories too. Be careful on nights out, stick together and never leave your drink unattended. When you're out and about in a new place you've never been, try to go with people you know, or at least don't get so intoxicated you don't know what you're doing. Also, alcohol can have such a huge dent on your budget, and it's hard to control your spending when you're out. On more than one occasion I've found myself buying drinks for people as if I'm rolling in the dolla...but of course, I'm not.

Learn from your mistakes. When you mess up an essay, go see a tutor and find out what could be  have been done better. Your first year may not count, but I learnt the hard way that it's pretty good practice for your next few years at uni. If you know you're more likely to mess up an essay by doing it in the early hours of the morning, try harder to put time aside for it. Or, if you're constantly being distracted by things, try going Cold Turkey. I'd recommend learning from your mistakes in other areas of your life too, especially nights out!

Don't be surprised if you drift away from people. Some people do and others don't, it really depends on a number of things. You've got your friends at home who you may have known for years, but just like you a lot of them may have gone to university too, or some perhaps haven't and are still used to the same old life you knew before uni. Sometimes you can just drift apart as you change and grow up. When it comes to making friends at university, you may drift apart from them because you realise you didn't have as much in common as you first thought, or because your groups of friends vary and change. I've lost friends over the years throughout school and up to now, but I tend to remind myself that losing friends is a part of life and it just means you're all growing up into different people. Don't assume it'll happen though, because there's a chance you may not lose anyone along the way! Everyone is completely different!

Also, don't be surprised if you put on weight. It's not always just the crap eating at university that can contribute to your expanding waistline but often all those boozy nights too. I was underweight when I started university but putting on around 10lbs didn't look good on me! Enjoy yourself but remember to look after yourself too! Many people find that their uni years can really affect their eating habits long term, so don't let them get really bad because you'll find it very challenging to make your way back. When it comes to the alcohol, try to avoid fizzy drinks for mixers because they add an incredible amount of sugar to your diet, and it may be hard but try not to binge drink excessively. I may be a hypocrite because this advice is all from experiencing the exact things I'm advising you guys not to do! But learn from my mistakes! One thing that obviously contributed to my weight gain wasn't just the alcohol and bad eating, but also the lack of exercise. Exercise is a lot of effort for some people, but if you can find a cheap gym locally, frequently go for a jog or join a sports society it won't only help you keep those pounds from piling on but it also works wonders for stress and helps with motivation in other areas of life!

I hope this quite lengthy advise helps you guys learn a few things and take some advice into consideration. As I said this advice all comes from experience, and I do believe the easiest way to learn from things is by making your own mistakes but it's also nice to know that you're not the only one making them!

I hope university is as fun and memorable for all of you as much as it was for me, good luck!
MissIsGoode

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2 comments

  1. Great advice! I can really relate to so many of these things! Specially Netflix... If only I spent half of the time I spend watching tv shows studying...

    Be | lovefrombe

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    1. Thank you! Oh wouldn't we all be doing and have done so much better if Netflix never existed...then again, I'm sure we'd fine something else to waste our time on aha!

      x

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