Your learning at university will extend much further than your lectures and seminars. In addition to learning a great deal about your chosen subjects, you'll also learn a lot about yourself.
Figuring out what you're really interested in is a very big and important part of the university experience, and London is the perfect setting for this exciting time of self-discovery, as there's an endless amount of culture to soak up and plenty of opportunity to try new things. You might find that your tastes change over the course of your time as a student – maybe just a little, or maybe a lot.
Here are some friendly suggestions for any student who's new to London and keen to truly enjoy it.
Don't stop exploring
When you arrive, your exploration will probably be limited to the immediate area around your accommodation – which makes sense, as this is where you'll be spending your evenings and quite a lot of your free time. You'll quickly figure out where it's most convenient to buy food, and of course you'll discover your favourite eateries and watering holes.
But once you're settled in, don't be afraid to go on little adventures and branch further out into other parts of the city. After all, everything is just a Tube ride or two away. And don't worry: the Tube itself is actually very easy to understand and navigate after a month or two. (See our beginner's guide to travelling around London.)
Sample the diverse food and drink
Every great city has superb cafes, restaurants and bars. London has an abundance of those, as well as many of those quintessentially British establishments known as pubs (or "boozers", if you like). This means that delicious food and quenching drink in a friendly atmosphere is never more than a stone's throw away.
We all have our individual preferences and our favourite categories of food (Italian, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, etc.), but making an effort to try different ones out is definitely advisable – variety is the spice of life, as they say.
When we make the transition from adolescence to adulthood, our taste buds also make a transition, and many of us start to appreciate tastes that we didn't enjoy when we were 13 or 14. So if you're not sure whether you'll like something or not, there's only one way to find out: try it!
Discover new music
As with food, our music tastes can change a lot as we mature into young adults. If you have a Spotify account (as any student should!), there's quite literally an unlimited bank of music for you to explore whenever you like.
If you find new music by a current artist, it's always worth checking their tour schedules – if they're visiting the UK, there's a very good chance they'll be playing London, as it's the UK's biggest city and has countless little and large venues.
Strike the right balance between studies and fun
Naturally, you'll want to do well at uni and get the best possible marks in every assignment and exam. It is important, though, that you let your hair down at least every once in a while.
Go shopping and treat yourself, take a trip to the cinema to see a new movie, enjoy a night out with your flatmates, or any other activity that involves putting down the books for a few hours. A little break can provide you with a big motivation booster.
Get plenty of rest
Studying in London and also enjoying everything the city has to offer can be an exhausting combination. Rest and relaxation is the only remedy. Curl up in bed and watch a film, enjoy some soothing sounds from your iPod, or settle down with a novel.
Check out our guide to starting university in London for some essential tips on how to organise yourself over your first few months.