I’ve decided to put together a list of 10 things that either I found helpful or that I wish I had known before I came here.
1- Budget !! Sit down with a parent or adult or someone who knows what they’re talking about. I started the year with know budget at all and now I have no money. My Dad came up and saw me and sat down to come up with a budget and I feel so much better now.
2-Plan. Plan whatever you need to. Depending on how stressed I’m feeling depends on how much I want to plan, sometimes I just need to plan a specific day, sometimes i need to do the week.It could be only specific things like meals, or essays (definitely plan these). But a plan for me always makes me less stressed. There’s so much going on in your first semester that it should put your mind at ease to be organised.
3-Confidence. Fake it. If you’re not naturally confident (most people aren’t) then fake it. In the first week you may have to push yourself out of your comfort zone slightly just to get to know people. But believe me when I say that its worth it.
4-Cry and threaten to leave. Okay, sounds weird I know. But everyone in my flat has done. And I’m sure we’re not the only ones. It is bound to happen. You’ll get homesick. You’ll wonder why you ever came. If you’re like me you’ll wonder why you came so far away. You’ll call your family and say you’re moving. But you’ll most likely stay, because of various reasons. It’s important that you do this though if you need to and not try to stop yourself from crying. Make sure you talk to someone.
5-Go home (if you can/need to). It is okay to go home. Someone told me not to come home in the first term as I wont want to stay. However, I’ve been home or near home a few times and it has helped. In fact it made me want to go back to uni. But definitely don’t be ashamed if you need to go home.It’s nothing to be afraid of. Just try not to in the first week as people are getting to know each other then.
6- Set goals. This can be something small like writing the intro to an essay, or could be something like get through to the end of the week. Setting goals when you feel like you’ve lost motivation helps. My advice would be small achievable goals as then you’ll feel better about yourself for completing them.
7-Do the work. After all you’re paying to be there to learn. So do it. And do it when it is set. I was always terrible in sixth form for leaving work until the last minute but I am learning that I can’t do that here. The best thing to do is to start it when its set, plan, read, and write it. Do several drafts.
8-Join societies. They have so many different types of societies to join and you’ll find this at your fresher fayre. I recommend you try to join at least two. However, you don’t want to join too many and then not have time for it. So try something new, or do what you enjoy but try to do something. This will help you make friends all over the uni and not just in your year. Also if there isn’t the society you want then you could find out how to set you your own.
9-Talk to your flatmates. Communication with the people you live with is important. Imagine being at home and no one talking to each other, its horrible. These people are effectively your “family” for the next year, so it’s important you get along as best you can. set up rotas for cleaning, eat together, let one another know when you’re going out. Also, resolve any problems/arguments as quickly as possible.