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You’ve secured your place, decided on your course and sorted our your student loan – the next 3 years are going to be awesome! But are you really ready for all that campus life has to offer? Eevee’s Sarah Khatun tells you everything you need to know about starting university…

Going to university is the most exciting and for some, the scariest thing that you can ever do! Whilst most of you may already know what to expect from university life, I can guarantee that whatever you think you know may only be the tip of the iceberg.

Fresher’s Week

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This is probably the best week that you will ever experience at university. Going out, making new friends, getting drunk, enjoying the freedom without parents: what’s the harm?
Fresher’s is a very fun week. Even so, there are a few things  you need to be aware of. At the tender age of 18 we are allowed to drink and let loose. However, during this time of the year, students are more than likely to go over the limit, and end up in some pretty nasty situations -for example, waking up the next morning with a random stranger. In some situations, students are left on their own on the streets and roll around in their own vomit – something that I have witnessed myself. Pick and choose your friends wisely so that you know that they will look after you when the going gets tough. People  also end up sometimes getting their purses or phones taken away, so keep your belongings safe and with you at all times. Oh, and always book your cab beforehand. Do not get into a random cab without booking it.
These examples are just some of the situations that people get themselves into during fresher’s week. Just remember to be wise and drink responsibly so that you are in control of your actions. Of course have fun during freshers, but try to be cautious too!

First Year Does Not Count

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How many times have you heard that one before? Many students believe that first year does not count towards their final grade, so they end up going out every night and barely just passing their assignments. This is one of the most common mistakes that students make. University is not like school or sixth form – you are expected to work independently. When you get your overall grades, they do take into account your 1st year marks. Also, employers might look at what marks you gained for every single module – including 1st year! Make sure you aim for good grades so that it will be much easier to cope with the pressure during 2nd and 3rd year because – believe me – you will be needing it!

Budgeting

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This is one of the most common things that students struggle with. Frozen food, packet noodles and takeaways are what students literally live on. The most important thing to do is to plan how you are going to spend your cash. When your student loan comes in don’t be tempted to spend it all at once. Set aside no more than £20 each week for food shopping and stock up on healthy fresh fruit and vegetables and the basics like pasta, rice, bread, beans, etc. Instead of grabbing a sausage roll when you’re hungry, try and take a packed lunch to university (prepare the food the night before so it saves you time in the morning). Remember to eat healthy and make fresh food. There are loads of easy and healthy recipe ideas – use them!

Making Friends

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This is one of the most nerve-racking experience any first year can go through. No matter how confident a person may seem, everyone is nervous on their first day. Talk to people when you first move into your halls, knock on everyone’s door in your flat and introduce yourself, make general conversations with everyone. Remember everyone is in the same boat as you; if you are the one that breaks the ice it will be much easier for you. Knock on your neighbours doors and ask them to come around. Although this may seem like the most daunting thing to do, it will really help you meet people and, who knows, they might end up being your best friends for life! It is hard living in halls for some, especially as you may end up with flatmates that you might not get along with. In those types of situations the most important thing to do is not to isolate yourself. Joining societies is one of the best ways of meeting new people. Also, why not think about doing some voluntary work? You’ll get to me new people whilst doing something you enjoy. Double whammy!

Homesickness

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Unfortunately, sometimes the University experience is not for everyone. Moving away can be such a big change, especially for people who are more attached to home. The most important thing to do is talk to someone if you are feeling  upset and cannot cope. Do not be scared to tell someone about it. There are loads of students who go through this experience, please do not think that you are the only one. Most universities offer a fantastic range of support throughout your academic years. If you are feeling homesick, try talking to your loved ones and treating yourself by going home for the weekend – it will really help freshen up your mind.

Make The Most Of It

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Enjoy your three years at university – believe me, it will fly by. You will never get that sort of freedom and experience again in your life. Make the most of it and have no regrets!