Hello, my name is Benjamin and I am a 3rd-year Law student from the University of York! In this blog, I will discuss what it is like to start university, budgeting tips, and being away from home.
Meeting new people
Students are in the same boat when starting university, as they may be nervous about their course or meeting new people for the first time. If you feel comfortable doing so, introduce yourselves to your flatmates and strike up a conversation! Also, it is important to meet a variety of people at university, as this will open you up to new experiences. You can do this by conversing with people in your subject, joining societies you are interested in, and taking part in sports you may not have tried before.
Budgeting is important for ensuring that you have enough money for your basic essentials such as food and accommodation. However, you should also leave yourself enough money for extracurricular activities, such as society events and sports clubs.
One of my top tips for budgeting at university is to only budget after you know how much money you have in student loan, scholarships, or other income. In my first year of university, I followed that tip then subtracted my essential expenses. This left me with money to spend on non-essentials, such as entertainment and society events.
Another budgeting tip is to ensure your spending is kept as low as possible whilst ensuring that you have a sufficient amount for essentials. To achieve this, I usually shop at budget supermarkets such as, but not limited to, Aldi and Lidl. Here I save a lot of money by not purchasing name-brand products.
Being away from home
Being away from home can be daunting at first, and it is best to establish a routine at a new place to ensure that you have familiarity with where you are living. A useful tip for this is to aim for 8 hours of sleep at night. This ensures that you are alert for lectures and seminars, but also makes sure that you have the energy for events you want to attend!
Also, please ask for support if you’re struggling with being away from home at university. There is help available at university, through flatmates, your department, and relevant support services. Another important tip is to establish a cleaning routine in your flat or student accommodation. This can avoid conflict and create a better environment to study and relax in!
A balancing act!
In summary, starting university is a balancing act, involving budgeting, meeting new people, and maintaining independence in an unfamiliar environment. Therefore, you should aim to plan what to do at university before you arrive. See how much income you have for budgeting and think about what societies you may enjoy being a part of! Most importantly, enjoy yourself. You deserve to be at university and experience new, valuable opportunities!