I've always wanted to try my hand at sharing some words of advise, my experience and so called wisdom. So this post is my attempt at some kind of 'Agony Aunt' type post. I've studied at University and graduated just over a year ago. This was my first taste of 'freedom' and living away from home for a long period of time. I learnt a lot, not just educational, over the three year, I though I'd share some of my tips and lessons with you.
It's that time of year again. The leaves are falling and a lot of you have probably already started a new year at uni. Exciting but also scary times if this is your first year, starting a next chapter in your life and meeting a lot of new people. Here's some of my advise:
1. Just Go For It. I wish I joint some societies and met a wider range of people whilst trying new things. Stick to you favourites though when you at freshers fair. Don't get carried away and sign up to societies for the sake of it, you'll regret it when they're e-mailing you non stop with club updates.
2. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Uni is all about trying new things and as cheesy as it sounds .. 'finding yourself'. Try something new or that you think you might like but never had the guts to do before. If you want to join the radio but not sure people will listen to you, give it a go.. you'll be surprised at what you can do if you put your mind to it.
3. Drag Yourself To Lectures. I know how hard it can be, especially getting to those 9am lectures after a heavy student night, but believe me it will be worth it once you leave uni with the grades you wanted. You're not paying 9 grand a year for nothing. Although some lectures post their lectures online, personally I still found it a more useful turning up to lectures as well as they still give you extra information to help you understand the slides.
4. Don't Be Scared To Ask For Help. I wish I had done this a lot more. Your lecturers are there to help you. If you need any help or even just some advise, go to them, they know their stuff and will do their best to help. To get the most out of your degree make the most of their help.
5. Take Photos. Now I don't just mean take a phone of the mate stumbling down the road with a cone on their head. Obviously do take a photo of that.. they need to be reminded in the morning, but also make sure you take photo of your student house when you move in and out, and also make sure this is date stamped. Believe me this will come in handy when trying to get your deposit back, you'll be able to prove if you were/weren't responsible for any damages for charges. Student letting agencies can be cheeky buggers and try and get more money than they're entitled to, so know you're rights. I had a lot of trouble trying to get mine back when we left uni, it went on for months and it something I wouldn't want anyone else to go through if they can help it.
6. Stash Some Money. Keep a fiver wedged in the back of your phone case. You'll thank yourself when you get you need a taxi and you've sent the last few pounds from your purse on that chicken burger and chips.
7. You Make Friends You Loose Friends. As sad as it sounds this can and does happen. Especially when moving into halls you're forced to life with people you probably never would have mix with. Sometime this is amazing and you click and become BFFs forever. Other times things don't work out so well and either you crash and just never really become friends and just tolerate living with them.. thankfully this didn't happen for me and I think it's generally pretty rare. Or people change and you just drift apart.
8. Links You'll Love. Studentbeans.com a website made especially for students, including jobs, discounts and funny articles, can you really go wrong? Google Books and Google Scholar are a god send, they saved me a lot of money through my time at uni. There's no need to buy every book on your book list at the beginning of term, you'll soon realise the essential one and the rest your can normally find on one of these websites.
I hope those of you at uni are having an amazing time and these handy hints and tips help you through your uni years.