The first year of university can be one of the best of your life; but it can also be a confusing and sometimes stressful time. To help you hit the ground running, here we share our top 5 things that every university fresher should know.
1. It’s okay to miss home.
For many, the prospect of going to uni for the first time is an exciting one; a new adventure. For others, the idea of leaving home, family and friends is daunting, and university pressures or lifestyle changes can cause homesickness, stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health problems for new (and returning) students. Remember, it is completely normal to miss home. If you are struggling to cope with any aspect of university, read our advice.
2. You don’t have to bring all of your belongings with you.
After 18 or so years, it is not surprising that you have collected a lot of personal belongings in your bedroom back home. When you move to uni for the first time, it can be tempting to try and take absolutely everything with you. If you aren’t sure what you really need, read our list of 27 essential things to take with you to university.
3. Studying is hard, and it’s fine to admit it.
As a student, you are under a lot of pressure to achieve high grades in order to gain qualifications that will further your career, not to mention justify the amount you’ve invested in course fees. The key to success at university is to maintain a healthy balance between the amounts of time spent studying, socialising and resting. Over- or under-indulging in any of these is not a good thing, so make sure you devote a reasonable amount of time to each. For more help, read our 6 ways to juggle work, rest and play.
4. Healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to live on instant noodles and cheese on toast when you are a university student. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive ingredients or eating out every night either. Want to learn to cook easy and cheap meals but not sure where to start? Check out our budget student meal ideas.
5. You will thank yourself later if you make a budget (and stick to it!).
Textbooks and partying carry a high price tag, so you’ll need to stay on top of your finances and know what you can or can’t afford. It’s not fun having to ring up the bank of mum and dad every other week. It’s not the most exciting of things but working out a budget plan is crucial to getting by whilst at uni. Work out a weekly budget and buy all the necessities first (food, household items, etc.). Be strict with yourself, when you run out of cash – that’s it for the week. For more, read our advice on making the most of your student loan.