A Fresher’s Guide To Making The Most Out Of University
Off to uni? Here are ten ways to make the most of it!
Live in big halls
Even before you start uni, you’re offered chances to affect your university experience. One of the most important is your accommodation selection.
For those attending tertiary education in their home town, living at home may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option. Don’t do it. By living at home, you miss out on not only social opportunities but the increased maturity that develops with flying the nest.
Similarly, living by yourself in a studio flat or with only a handful of people in a small flat greatly limits the circle of people you’re in contact with. Choose as large a block or halls as is available.
Join sports clubs
Uni is a time to reinvent yourself. If you already play a sport, attend trials in fresher’s week and join that club – ensuring that all of your Wednesday nights comprise of sports socials, dirty pints and cheap jäeger bombs. Not a natural jock? Why not give it a go anyway? It’s a great to make friends and keep fit.
Most sports teams offer taster sessions so beginners can have fun and meet new people. If you’re not a typically sporty person, there will absolutely be a sport for you – lots of universities even have a quidditch team!
Do town-specific activities
Chances are you’ll only stick around this town for the duration of your course, so this is your opportunity to soak up the culture of the area. Make a list of all the fun things your uni town has to offer, from landmarks to quirky bars and restaurants. Now spend the next three years working through your list!
Get a part-time job
The most common reason for people not to be able to do things at uni, like going on nights out, is having insufficient funds. Prevent this from happening to you by topping up your student loan with a part-time job. This way you’ll never have to turn anything down due to lack of money.
Don’t go home too often
Tempting as it is to return home regularly with a bag of dirty washing for a roast dinner, a hot bath and some general TLC, resist this urge. Weekends are when many social activities take place, so going home prevents you from attending these. Even if nothing has been planned for a particular weekend, it’s important to make the most of spending time with your housemates.
Visit your friends at other universities
An exception to the rule of not leaving uni at the weekends is to visit your friends from home at their unis. This is not only an excellent opportunity for you to spend time with the friends you’ve been missing for months, but also to explore a whole new university with your personal tour guide.
Try and visit as many of your friends as possible, even if their universities have aspects that aren’t as good as yours because it will make you appreciate yours all the more when you return.
Contact your lecturers
University academics are passionate about their subject area and most are equally enthusiastic about sharing this passion with others. They have a wealth of knowledge greater than can be covered in a textbook and can explain it in more dynamic ways than blocks of text.
It is rare to be surrounded by so much knowledge and enthusiasm, so make the most of it by contacting them regularly and asking lots of questions.
Don’t let a relationship ruin your uni experience
Don’t get into a relationship with the first person you meet in fresher’s week. Too many people fall for someone in first year, live with them in second year then break up and suffer the most awkward year of their life. Obviously, if the right person comes along, it would be silly to turn them down for no good reason, but try to stop yourself from agreeing to share a house with them while you’re still in the honeymoon period, because this doesn’t last. If your relationship does work out, don’t let it compromise on your friends or societies by spending all your time with him/her and missing out on other things.
Take advantage of careers opportunities
Employers are keen on attracting the attention of university students, so many of them attend the countless careers fairs your university hosts. Such careers events are rare outside university, so ensure you attend as many as you can and get the contact details of prospective employers.
Cook for yourself
Most people leave for university having relied on their parents’ culinary skills for the past 18 years. Instead of eating tomato pasta or ready meals every day, take the opportunity to teach yourself to cook new dishes and expand your cooking skills. Your ability to cook will make meal times more exciting, increase your independence and should also save you money. Everyone’s a winner!
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