Saturday, 2 July 2016

Advice for starting university

Some of you are probably going to be starting university this September and are probably really nervous about it. It is quite daunting as it is a very big step from A Levels. I just thought I'd give you guys a few tips about starting university as I have completed my first year.

1. Do a course you'll enjoy or want to do for the rest of your life
I can't stress this enough but do something you enjoy. Don't do something because it might make you look smart on your CV or you'll feel your family will be proud of you for doing this course. No. Do whatever it is you enjoy or are really interested in. Don't think about the end of the degree and getting a job because you don't have to worry about that until your third year. Just do something you enjoy and really want to pursue a career in.

2. Live in halls for your first year
I've said this many of times but I feel like if you want the full university experience then go and live in halls. You will meet loads of people around your age either in first year or in the years above who will be very understanding and know how you feel. You will know whats going on and make more friends and get to know new people. It also gives you a chance to be independent. I know it's scary living away from home but honestly you'll get used to it. You'll also feel more involved and be able to go to different events with people in your halls.

3. Get involved in freshers
Do take part in things going on during freshers because you'll make more friends. Whether your a big drinker or not there's loads of things you'll be able to do during the day and night. Make your freshers a memorable one because you'll regret it if you didn't get involved. My freshers had a paint party and a silent disco, I had never done those before but now I have and I can say I've done it. I absolutely loved my freshers because I did nearly all the events being held. It was great.

4. Watch YouTube videos, read blogs and talk to people who have been to university
I was quite lucky because my older brother went to university and so I had an understanding about halls. I also could talk to him about university life. I also watched loads of YouTube videos and read blog posts about university advice and what to bring to university. I also watched loads of University room tours just to get ideas about the room size. Some of those channels with university room tours normally have a video as well about university advice. I just felt so prepared and more excited about going away to university.

5. Do attend your lectures
I know sometimes lectures can be boring but don't get into the habit of skipping lectures. Try to go as many as you can because believe it or not lecturers do notice if you're not there. They may not punish you but eventually they will email you and want to know what's going on. You will do a whole lot better in your assignments if you attend lectures. Also if you're skipping lectures all the time then you may as well give up because it's kind of obvious you don't care about your degree then.

6. Your lecturers are your friends
I'm not going to lie, the first couple of months I found my lecturers quite scary and nervous about speaking to them if I had a problem. I'm quite a shy person and I get freaked out by authority figures sometimes. For some reason I just thought my lecturers were scary and would judge me if I was struggling with something. However, I was entirely wrong. Once I was having trouble with how to do an assignment and so eventually I emailed my lecturer and went to see them. I kept panicking it was going to be awful but it turned out to be fine. The lecturer was so nice and reassured me into the right direction for the assignment. The same went for another lecturer once. It just made me realise they aren't scary people lecturers. They just want whats best for you so don't be afraid of your lecturers, they are your friends.

7. Try to manage your time wisely
This is really important especially when it comes to assignments. You may think all your assignments are due in two months and you have plenty of time to do them but honestly time will go by so fast and suddenly it's a week before the assignments are due in. You may have five or six assignments on the same week so try and make a start on some of them. Even if you work on an assignment an hour or two a day then you'll eventually get it done. Make to do lists and write down when all your assignments are due in so you know how much time you have to complete them. If you start your assignments early then if you find one particularly hard then you'll have plenty of time to consult your lecturer. They won't tell you the answers but they will lead you in the right direction. However, do make time to have fun and relax you don't want to be locked away in the library or in your room non stop. Make time for your friends as well or to do things.

8. Go in with an open mind and try new things
Believe it or not everyone is a judgemental person. The moment you set your eyes on someone you will have judged them. Whether it was a positive or negative just try not to dwell on it and get to know them with an open mind. Don't judge them from what they're wearing judge them on their personality and how they treat you. Just be open minded about things. They may have things they enjoy which you may or may not enjoy or have never done before so try new things. Maybe try go out drinking at least once. You never know you may like it. Try something new and try push yourself to do something different for once. At least you can say that you have tried it. However, if you're a big drinker and you meet someone that is not a big drinker then don't judge them for that. Be understanding with them and maybe spend time with them doing something not involving alcohol you never know you might enjoy yourself. Plus you'll make them feel happy because even though they're not a big drinker they might feel left out if everyone is big drinkers and always going on nights out. Make them feel included. Also don't feel pressured into doing something you don't want to do. You don't always have to go on nights out. You are allowed to have time to yourself to watch Netflix and save money.

9. Lower your expectations a little, it saves disappointment
I know what most people think when they go to university. They'll meet lifelong friends, meet their soulmate and just be really happy. Even though that might be a possibility during your time at university. Don't go there with high expectations of that. Just expect the unexpected. Focus on the present and not the future you want. It'll save yourself from disappointment if things don't exactly go in those directions but at least you can still enjoy yourself doing something you never expected.

10. Like it or not you're going to get homesick
If you are living far away from home for university then chances are you're going to feel homesick at some stage during the year. It is quite daunting going from the knowledge your family is close by to them being a few hours away. Some people may not get the homesickness during the first couple of weeks because you're having such a good time with making friends, being independent and just having fun. Eventually though when the work kicks in, you'll miss home. Don't worry though they are just a phone call away and you will see them again in a couple of months. When in times you're feeling homesick, call them and having a nice chat. Look at photographs of your family. If you're feeling really low go find your friends, tell them how you're feeling because they will make you feel so much better. Just distract yourself a little. Watch your favourite movie, read a book, go shopping. Anything to take your mind of it.

11. Enjoy every moment
Just enjoy every moment and be happy. Those years will fly be and before you know it you'll be graduating. Just make the most of your time in university and just have fun.

Anyway, that's it from me. I hope these tips were helpful for any of you starting university soon. If you have any questions about university which I have not covered then leave a comment below and I'll reply to it or even make a post about it explaining.

I'll be back tomorrow with another post.
See you then guys.

Megan x

Links to other university related posts
University Haul + Tips
University Essentials
8 essential food for your uni cupboard
What's in my uni bag?
Student Grocery Haul
Pros and cons for moving away for university
What university is really like
11 Tips on getting through a university assignment or essay
University Experience
University Morning Routine
University Night Routine
University Room Tour
Study Tips