New students have certain expectations when they start university, and whilst most of them will have a brilliant time, it isn’t quite the non-stop party that many people believe it is. It’s a big change from A levels and living at home, so whilst you might have a lot of fun, there will certainly be some challenges along the way as well. Here are seven tips for surviving your first term at university.
It’s exciting to finally have a lot of money and once your loan comes in it can be tempting to splash out on those essentials like new clothes and video games. Remember that the money has already been designated to cover food, rent and books so try to spend it all at once.
Being independent is great fun, but it also means doing a few boring things too. Take some time to work out a budget that means you can cover all your essentials. Buying a round of beers during your first week might feel good, but not being able to afford to eat in week 10 isn’t worth it.
2. Make the most of freshers week
Freshers week is a bit mad, and it is easy to spend most of it enjoying late nights and bonding with those who share your halls. But beyond the partying, there are a lot of things you should also be doing. You’ll need to register for classes and will probably have a preliminary meeting with your personal tutor.
There are other things that you’ll probably kick yourself if you don’t attend such as a tour of the library, trials and inductions for sports teams and the chance to get involved in societies. One thing to remember is that although freshers week is amazing, it isn’t the benchmark for how much fun you’ll have at university.
It’s pretty great to be able to eat whatever you want whenever you want, but the 3am burger and chips diet will be bad for your waistline and your health. Take time to prepare a healthy meal, it will make working and having fun so much easier, and hopefully help you to avoid the flu bugs that seem to catch out many new university students.
4. Don’t leave studying till the last minute
Remember the real reason that you came to university and turn up to lectures. Most courses make it easy for you to balance your studies with extra-curricular activities, but it’s important to learn as you go, otherwise when it comes to revision time you will have nothing to revise.
Set up a study group with some of the people you meet on your course and spend time in the library every now and then. You might not realise it yet, but you’ll regret not getting the results you want more than missing a few nights at the student union.
There will be fellow students who appear to know everything about everything, from what extra reading you should be doing to the fines you have to pay for returning a library book back late. Your university experience relies on what you put into it, both in terms of your studies and socially.
Be sure to ask questions to your personal tutor, lecturers and other students. It’s better to find out during your first term than wait until it’s too late. Nobody expects you to know everything, and there will probably fellow classmates who are quite glad you are asking the questions they are thinking about as well.
6. Stay in touch
Leaving home can be the freedom that you’ve wanted for most of your teenage years but it is also tough to be far away from the support of family and friends you’ve known for years. Some people love speaking to their parents every week, whilst others find it harder hearing news from home. Find a way that works for you, and let your parents know how often you’ll be in touch. A short email or text will help them to stop worrying.
It’s never too early to start thinking about what you want to do next. Three years fly by and before you know it you’ll be looking for a graduate job. One great way to get ahead in your career is to do an internship during your summer vacation or part-time.
Enterprise offers a whole range of internships that can last from a few weeks to a whole year, depending on what suits your studies. You get to take on the same responsibilities as our graduate management trainees and get paid. Start planning ahead and apply now.