Okay, so as you may know, I graduated from Liverpool Hope University in the summer! I felt as though it would be appropriate to share some helpful tips and advice to new students for World Student Day!
Starting university is a huge stepping stone in an individuals life, and it involves quite a lot of change and therefore can be a little scary! I hope this article makes someone’s transition from college into university that little bit easier…
Basic Things That Will Come In Handy:
- Project Books – All courses are separated into modules, so having a project book can help to keep your notes organised and in one place. I highly recommend Pukka Pad project books as they tend to have storage pockets on at the start of each section which comes in handy for keeping handout sheets in! There are cheaper options available if you shop around, however!
- Plastic wallets in a hard folder or button folders are also great for keeping paperwork together.
- Different coloured pens! I love stationery, so I am a huge lover of having different coloured pens… they come in handy for bringing attention to important notes instead of using highlighters.
- Academic diary! This helps you to keep important deadlines in one place so that you don’t have to root through your project books to find where you have written them! They are also great for setting yourself goals and jotting down upcoming events in!
- A coffee flask – to get you through those early morning lectures! Also, many universities give small discounts on hot drinks if you bring your own flask/mug!
Living Away From Home…
- Try not to over-pack! This was a huge problem for me… You will end up getting frustrated with having too much stuff and not enough room for everything. A messy room really does make it harder to study! You will feel much more relaxed in a clean and tidy room and will be able to concentrate much better!
- Bring things that will make you feel at home! They do not need to be big things, it could be a blanket, a teddy bear, photographs, scented candles, your dressing gown… anything that makes you feel at home! For me, this was teddy bears and fleece blankets!
- Don’t feel like a ‘baby’ for calling your family all of the time! Speak to them as much as you need to. I didn’t live too far so I was lucky enough to go home most weekends if I wanted to, I also spoke with my mum on Facebook most days!
- Get to know your flatmates… you do not have to like them, in fact, many people do not get along with their first-year flatmates, but it is important that you try to be civil and keep the peace!
- If you are sharing a flat/house with others, try to make house rules! This usually includes cleaning up after yourself and making a rota and taking it in turns to hoover up!
Is It Really Party After Party?
Don’t get me wrong there were many students who would be out on the town every weekend… but they were often the ones failing their assignments or just scraping the barrel! Plus… students are often skint and do not have the money to be going out partying 24/7.
Freshers week will hit you like a ton of bricks! Especially if going out on the ale every night is not your usual routine. Freshers is weird, wonderful and at the same time deadly… and freshers flu is a thing!
There will be regular student nights hosted by the university which again can be really fun, and I do recommend that you attend some of them… but don’t forget those pesky assignments!
I did find myself going out more during my university years than what I did previously but compared to many students, that was still not a lot! I made great memories and had some amazing nights out, so you will have lots of fun despite having lots of work… it is all about finding a balance and prioritising!
Will I Really Make Friends For Life?
I cannot speak for everyone… but I definitely made friends for life, and although we may never meet up again now that university is over, we still have good chats and a gossip via social media on a regular basis and my university experience would have been completely different without them!
Also, do not feel as though you need to make a hundred friends… I had 4 close university friends throughout my degree. Remember quality over quantity!
Other Bits and Pieces…
There will be days where you will not want to get out bed for those daunting morning lectures. Everyone skips lectures from time to time… but try not to make a habit of it as I promise you, you will regret it!
Make as many notes as possible, they will come in handy when it comes to exam season.
Often, the first year of your degree will only count towards a small percentage of your overall degree… This does not mean you should sit back and relax and not work at your best, but it does take a little bit of that freshers fear away!
There will be a lot of reading. Try to divide up your time and make yourself a schedule when it comes to reading given materials… they can be boring and long-winded at times, so breaking them up into smaller sections can make them more endurable!
Everyone will dress to impress for the first week of the year… but the truth is, no one cares what you look like! Dress comfortably, don’t worry about wearing a full face of make-up, or doing your hair all perfect… There were many times that students turned up to morning lectures in onesies! So put on your joggers a baggy top and ugg boots if that is what makes you comfy! Hoodies will become your best friends throughout September – March, you will live in hoodies with your hair thrown up and no make-up on and you will feel great!
Spend time in the library, get to know where all of your course books are kept, find a spot where you feel comfortable or hire out private study rooms when it comes to doing assignments, you will benefit from this! Especially if you have a noisy house!
You will experience stress like never before… but when you look back at your time in university you will realise it wasn’t all that bad! In fact, there were many times that I would say ‘I can’t wait to graduate and get out of here!’, or ‘Ugh I am always so stressed, university is the worst!’… but when I look back, there were definitely more happy, fun and enjoyable moments than there were stressful moments and after graduating, part of me misses being there!
Be yourself and remember that if you ever need help or support it will be available to you! Ask at the student union or the reception area and they will direct you to the right kind of support that you are after!
And last, but not least… enjoy your university experience!