Leaving home for most people means moving away from family and friends. There are many doubts that go through prospective students’ minds no matter what age, area or financial background you’re from. You are not alone when thinking about these fears and I am going to give you some advice to help put your doubts at ease.
I am a second-year student, studying Human and Environmental Geography. I came from a small sixth form with a good reputation and great support; however, I felt that I didn’t get the best advice to help me make the most out of my time at university.
Since I made the leap to higher education, and I am loving the experience, it did come with its own challenges. I am going to give you some personal tips that I wish I had received when going to university. I hope you can take something from this.
Top tips: join a university society
Personally, I believe that joining a society is one of the best things a student can do at university. Not only does it get you out of your flat, but I believe that it gives you the best opportunity to meet new people with the same interests as you and gets you socialising.
However, even though I say that it is the best thing to do, make sure that it is the right one for you. Just because it is the first one you’ve joined doesn’t mean you can’t join others. Societies welcome people all year round and you can join as many as you like. Take advantage of this as you have a lot of spare time in first year.
Personally, I joined a sport society; however, I didn’t quite get on with the people I was with. It was only in my second year I challenged myself to try multiple different sports to find the right sport and people for me. I’m really enjoying myself so much now and wish I tried out for more in my first year.
Eat a balanced diet
Just like your studies, I would advise to plan your meals. A poor diet can affect your mood and performance, both academically and socially.
It is a hell of a lot cheaper to cook your own meals rather than getting a takeaway every night. Of course, we all like to treat ourselves now and then, but eating a healthy, balanced diet will really allow you as an individual to excel at university. It will help motivate you to spend your time wisely, and for you personally, to make the right decisions.
One thing that has really helped me is to create a meal plan. This does not have to be the best thing in the world; I’m not saying you need to plan out every little thing you’re going to eat. However, having a vague idea of what you’ll have for your afternoon and evening meals really does help you get organised. It’ll save you money when doing your food shop as you’re not buying unnecessary items.
There is nothing more important than this when you’re coming to university. Living away from home usually means living away from your family and friends. Meeting completely new people sometimes makes students feel obliged to go on nights out or to act a certain way.
Don’t do things that you feel forced to. Of course, try new societies, foods and meet new people; but if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, don’t feel obliged to do so.
If it is the drinking culture that you are not comfortable with, I can assure you that you are not alone when thinking this and there are other non-drinkers on campus. They even run their own society called sober society.
Alternatively, if you do like a couple of drinks and a good boogie, make the most of your student life. Learn to control the night life with your academic studies and create a healthy balance.
We have lots of blogs about what university is really like. Read Chloe’s post about ‘What to expect from university life‘.