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Top 10 tips for university life

Published Monday, 20 October, 2014 by Lily McConnell

So the new academic year is well under way and we are already being set those deadlines before the Christmas holidays approach. This does not mean you have to feel stressed or under any pressure though, being organised is the key to a happy and less stressful time at university and it will leave you feeling reassured of your deadline dates, give you time to sleep and go out and socialise with your friends as well as giving yourself to go home and enjoy time with your family.

I have devised my top ten tips that I feel helped me enjoy my time so far at university as well as a few budget ideas which will help those who need it most!

  • 1. Make your lunch if you have a long day of lectures ahead. I know it is sometimes really tempting to grab a ‘meal deal’ in the canteen or delve into a hot chocolate and croissant. But trust me when I say, the money really does add up and sometimes you think you may be getting a deal but actually you aren’t saving in the long run! If you buy things in bulk from the supermarket when you do your food shops you will save a lot of money and it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on treats either.

  • 2. With assignments, make sure that you know the referencing method that the university use for writing and write your reference list as you go along. I cannot stress enough how important this is! I know of people that lose all the references they have used and have a great job of trying to find them again. I know referencing can be time consuming and even in third year you never totally get the hang of it but making sure you do them as you go along can save you a world of time at the end.

  • 3. Make sure you stay warm during the winter months. Student budgeting can mean you can’t have the heating on for too long in housing. Make sure you keep warm and purchase hot water bottles, blankets and lots of warm food so you don’t get ill. If you want the heating on make sure you close all the doors to the room you are in, then, when the room is warmer, turn the heating off, not only are you saving that electricity bill and your money, you are also saving the environment.

  • 4. Be organised with your work and make sure you begin the reading early. This can save you a lot of time and prevent you from getting stressed and feeling overwhelmed with it all. University should be a fun and challenging experience and you don’t want to make it harder on yourself.

  • 5. Before you plan to head on a night out with your friends make sure you eat a big hearty meal and cook a lot of it. Not only will you thank yourself in the morning, you will also have some left over in case you need to quickly re-heat something to eat before you dash out to your afternoon lecture, you’ll thank me for this one!

  • 6. Invest in lots of rugs or posters for your bedroom. This can make the room feel more ‘you’ and cover up the bare walls and carpet. It can really jazz up a room and make it look a lot more colourful.

  • 7. Make sure you eat lots of fruit and veg and drink plenty of water every day. I know I know, you’re away from home for the first time, so this means lots of take aways and eating when you like (mum or dad can’t have a go at you for it!) But this is probably the worst thing you can do for your body. Every now and again is fine but when you have to wake up early and study hard you need that brain food and hydration to keep you going, anything else and you could find yourself sleeping or feeling a bit worse for wear.

  • 8. Do as much work experience or volunteering as you can whilst at university. I know sometimes it’s easy to say you’re too busy with your work but I’m sure a few hours a week wouldn’t go a miss and you’ll really be helping somebody out. Universities provide lots of opportunities for volunteering, or make yourself known to the field of work you’ll eventually want to go into and contact people via email and ask about anything you can do to help. There are plenty of big companies which love to help out where they can and it will look great on your CV when you’ve finished your degree.

  • 9. Sign up to the best student deals. Students are always being given the chance to save money, 10% here, 20% there, and it all really helps to budget and keep the costs low! There are plenty of websites to help and Google is your friend for those. Send off for those freebies and make the most of vouchers than can save you money on meals out or buy one get one free offers.

  • 10. Last, but not least, make sure you keep a healthy balance of university life and everything that it brings. University is one of the best experiences you’ll ever go through and one of the biggest challenges. You’ll need to make sure you keep a balance of eating, sleeping, studying and socialising and I know sometimes this can seem easier said than done but you’ll be so grateful when you graduate with a decent degree and a smile from the last three years knowing you’ve enjoyed every aspect!

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