Starting university can be pretty daunting and it’s probably the first time you’ve been living independently. With so much to get used to and so many new responsibilities, it’s easy to fall into some unhealthy patterns and forget your own wellbeing. They might make life easier in the short term but won’t help you in the long term.
In my first year, I definitely could have looked after myself better. So, in my second year, I decided to make some changes and they transformed by university experience. So I’m here to offer some tips to help you have the best first (and second/third/fourth) year possible!
Budget, budget, budget!
Ok, I know it’s exciting to see that student loan drop into your bank account at the start of term. But, if you’re not careful, it could disappear really fast.
There is lots of advice online for budgeting as a student. So maybe take a look and find one that works for you – it could be only taking cash on nights out or even tracking your spending.
Personally, I kept the bank account I had before I was a student to use as my ‘main’ account. My student loan goes into my student bank account and every week, I send myself my budget for that week so I can’t overspend!
Try to eat a balanced diet
Cheesy chips might sound like heaven after a night out, but it’s key to just keep them as a treat! Most of us have been taught about getting our five-a-day since we were little, so there’s really no excuse.
Eating a balanced diet will help you feel ready for whatever university throws at you. And will definitely help fight off the infamous Freshers’ flu.
Regulate your sleep as much as possible
This one is going to be tricky for some people, but it’s been proven that a regular sleep schedule is really important for your mental health.
In my first year, I only woke up just in time for my first contact hour of the day, whenever that was, and it really took its toll. Having the odd night out is fine, but day-to-day, going to sleep at the same time each night will help keep you in good spirits.
Whether it’s running, weight-lifting or yoga, it’s important to find a way of keeping active that works for you. At university, there are plenty of options, including gyms, running groups and sports societies you could join. Exercise releases endorphins, keeping you both happy and healthy!
Make sure you get out and about
For some people, this won’t be an issue, but for others, like me, it is! It can be really easy to end up stuck in your room studying, so make sure you set aside time to get out and do things.
Even if you just go into town for a coffee, getting out of your room and enjoying some fresh air will do wonders. It’s even better if you take a friend with you!