As today is results day, many thousands of teenagers (including my cousin) will be finding out if they’re going to uni… and as a very recent graduate these are my 20 nuggets of wisdom to survive.
1) Say lots of goodbyes to your friends and family before you go, but my best advice is do not go home in your first term. This is the most important time to be social and make new friends.
2) Don’t over prepare… it’s ok to forget to pack washing up liquid, you can buy stuff when you’re there and going into your new home town/city will be quite an adventure.
3) Be the best fresher you can be, go out as much as possible, do as many activities and get as many free things as you can. Its the only week in your life which you don’t have to remember.
4) Don’t take yourself to seriously, you may be training as a doctor and living with an art student… but everyones in the same boat, so just have fun.
5) Make yourself at home, bring your teddy bear, fluffy PJs, photographs of friends & family… its so important you feel safe and comfortable.
6) Take photos of everything… your view from your window, your first attempts at cooking and every single night out, especially in fancy dress.
7) If you’re going to university with a boyfriend/girlfriend don’t let your relationship over-rule everything. If it’s meant to be it will work out. If not, you’re young and will be around hundreds of other single people!
8) Also don’t rush into a relationship. You may find a guy as fit as Ryan Gosling, but he might actually be a massive dick.
9) Don’t worry if you don’t get on well with your new flat mates… you’ll find other people in your halls/course/society to get along with.
10) Join a society… I never actually did properly, but now really wish i had. So many nights out and new friends!
11) Arrange a night out or something fun with course mates, its good to get to know them, especially if you do lots of group projects.
12) Don’t stress if you miss the odd lecture, if you’re ill or just need a break, allow yourself some time. Try to catch up with the notes online or from friends.
13) Get a job! I worked through out my three years and it shows i can balance uni work with other commitments. It also helps build your CV up and trust me it works… I was employed within a few weeks of job searching.
14) Get experience! It does depend on your course, but most of the time it will always help. I studied fashion marketing, so managed to do a few interns. If you want to be a journalist… write for the uni blog? Want to get into tv or radio? Most uni’s have their own stations!
15) Make the most of your holidays, no other time will you have three or more months off in one go! (until you retire) Work and save money, do some interns or even go traveling… I have done all three and loved every summer.
16) Go on trips. If your course has a weekend away or a trip abroad, go for it! I ended up in a New York hotel room with 3 other girls and we left as great friends.
17) Make the most of discounts, 10% off is a blessing in Topshop. Also buy all the proper equipment, it’s not worth scrimping! I bought a MacBook alot cheaper, as well as the full Adobe creative suite for a quarter of the price. AMAZING.
18) At the same time, don’t blow your student loan. A new Xbox or pair of designer heels may be great… but not affording to buy food at the end of term really isn’t.
19) Make friends with the Tesco (or Asda, or Sainsburys, or Morrisons) reductions person. Go along in the evening when they reduce things down and buy expensive things such as meat, at a snatch of a price!
20) Make an effort to say thank you and keep in contact with your parents. I know it’s really soppy. But they’ll probably miss you more then you miss them! Call or Skype once a week just so they know you’re doing fine. Stick at it for the three years and on graduation day make them so proud they cry!
picture 1) Me on the first night of Freshers Week
picture 2) Me on graduation :)