The Ultimate Student’s Guide to Surviving Uni Life

The Ultimate Student’s Guide to Surviving Uni Life

Guide to Surviving Uni Life

It’s that time of the year again when eager minds fly the nest and descend upon universities up and down the country, forging new friendships and testing their fledgling cooking skills (FYI, we’re partial to adding a dash of grated cheese to our beans on toast).

Fear not, brave students, we have your back with this comprehensive survival guide to help you master your uni journey.

Essentials for Your Survival Kit

Let’s start with the basics. These must-haves give us all the tools to thrive during our time at university:

  • Stationery Galore: Stock up on pens, notebooks, and all the tools needed for our studies. Who knows, our scribbles might become art masterpieces one day. A Harvard University study on doodling found it helps students decrease stress and – despite what your lecturers might say –improves overall focus.
  • Laptop and Charger: Our trusty sidekick for lectures, assignments (and Netflix binging during those well-deserved study breaks). If we start feeling burned out after a marathon study session, it’s in our best interest to wind down. Not only does our brain stop absorbing information after a while, but increased stress levels lead to lack of sleep deprivation, mental health issues and, over time, can result in students choosing to drop out.
  • Textbooks (or E-books): This is a pro tip: Check the uni library or online retailers like eBay before spending a fortune on brand new books. Alternatively, if you have a Purple Card from Park or a Love2shop Contactless Gift Card, you can spend it at Blackwells bookstores. They stock a huge selection of university textbooks across a range of courses and often have great student offers.
  • Calendar or Planner: A well-organised schedule is your ticket to success. One of the best ways to reduce stress levels is to map out your time. It decreases the likelihood of last-minute panicking and hasty decision-making. Avoid having to cram in a whole year’s worth of studying before an exam by plotting out when you need to work or study in advance.
  • A Comfy Chair: We’ll be spending countless hours sitting writing dissertations or researching complex ideas, so we need a throne fit for a scholar. It’s still important to take regular screen breaks, as well as stretching and moving around to ensure our bodies are in top shape and the blood is flowing. Mental wellbeing connects to how we feel on a physical level.

The Art of Budgeting

Getting our student loan is exciting, all of a sudden we’re totally in control of our finances. But we’re also TOTALLY IN CONTROL OF OUR FINANCES!

They can vanish quicker than we think, so here’s how to make our student loans stretch:

  • Student Discounts: Unlock a world of student discounts. From clothes to cinema tickets, there’s a deal for just about everything. NUS offers many deals but you can also join UNiDAYS for exclusive deals. Remember to check in with your local student union too, – they can point you towards local retailers and businesses that offer discounts.
  • Cooking Skills: We all start with the basics, but by learning to whip up some budget-friendly meals you can really make those students loans last. Get creative and your flatmates will thank you for your culinary delights (or at least pretend to). Check out BBC Good Food’s list of student recipes.
  • Second-Hand Treasures: Hit up charity shops, vintage shops and online marketplaces for textbooks, furniture, and fashion. Sustainable and wallet-friendly – talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Making Friends (AKA Surviving Social Situations)

University life isn’t just about books and lectures; it’s a social adventure too where we start to figure out who we will become. Here’s how to navigate it like a pro:

  • Join Clubs and Societies: Whether we’re into all things Harry Potter, sports, debating philosophical ideologies, role playing games or something really obscure like underwater basket weaving, there’s a club for everything. It’s the easiest way to find like-minded souls and invest time in yourself, making steadfast friends in the process.
  • Flatmate Harmony: Keep the peace with roomies by agreeing some basic ground rule at the start. Practice the art of compromise and remember: don’t let dirty dishes build up. There’s nothing more gross or more likely to cause an argument.
  • Explore and Have Fun: Wherever we go to university, the destination is likely a treasure trove of new experiences. From hidden pubs to quirky museums, go out and explore. Just remember to do so safely, with friends. We might even make some new ones along the way.

Coping with the Academic Rollercoaster

University can be academically challenging – that’s the point. But don’t fret; you’ve got this:

  • Time Management: Plan your time wisely, so you don’t end up pulling all-nighters fuelled by coffee and panic.
  • Seek Help When Needed: Professors, tutors and academic advisors are there to assist you. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance if you’re struggling.
  • Stay Healthy: A balanced diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep are your secret weapons against everything, from nodding off in lectures to the dreaded freshers’ flu.

Mastering Time Management

Now, this has come up a couple of times in this article. So let’s talk about time management. It’s the key to balancing lectures, social life and binging on streaming TV:

  • Use a Timetable: Create a weekly timetable that includes classes, study time and social activities. Stick to it as best as you can, but don’t try to micromanage every moment. Spontaneity is good for the soul.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Break our assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks. Crossing off mini-achievements is oddly satisfying – definitely invest in a checklist notepad.
  • Beware the Procrastination Pit: TikTok, Netflix, Instagram, and YouTube can be tempting distractions. Use apps like ‘Forest’ to stay focused, or we can put our devices away until our studies are over.

The Magic of Study Groups

Studying doesn’t have to be a solitary experience. Here’s how study groups can help:

  • Brainpower Multiplied: Sharing ideas and knowledge with fellow students can lead to some light bulb moments we might never have on our own. Eureka!
  • Peer Pressure (the good kind): Not letting down our study buddies can be a powerful motivator to stay on track. We don’t what to be that person in the group project.
  • Snacks & Silliness: Let’s face it; study breaks with friends are all about snacks and funny anecdotes. Just remember to get some work done too!

Surviving Exams with Flying Colours

Exams are the ultimate academic showdown. Here’s how to come out victorious:

  • Revision Strategy: Start early and create a revision schedule. Review your notes, make flashcards, and tackle practice papers.
  • Exam-Day Essentials: On the big day, don’t forget your ID, pens, pencils, and a bottle of water. Arrive early, stay calm and give it your best shot.
  • Post-Exam Celebrations: No matter how it goes, treat yourself to a post-exam celebration. You’ve earned it!

Money Matters and Budget-Friendly Hacks

Being a student often means navigating a financial tightrope. Here’s how to stretch those pounds without falling off:

  • Budget Apps: Use budgeting apps to keep track of our spending. It’s like having a personal financial advisor in your back pocket.
  • Part-Time Work: Consider part-time jobs or freelance gigs to boost our income. Just remember not to overdo it and neglect your studies – education comes first.
  • Bulk Cooking: Batch-cook meals and freeze them. It’s a lifesaver on those nights when the thought of cooking is just too much – especially after a long day in the library or one too many drinks.

Embrace ‘Failure’ as a Learning Opportunity

Life at uni isn’t all smooth sailing. It’s okay to stumble now and then but we’re never ‘failing’ just learning:

  • Learn from Mistakes: When we mess up, we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves. Instead, learn from it and let it fuel our personal growth. Remember, if we miss the target, we’ve taken another step to hitting the next one. And no, we didn’t get that from a fortune cookie!
  • Seek Support: If we’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to university counselling services, or talk to a trusted friend or family member. A problem shared is a problem halved, simply talking can help us process challenges and figure out solutions.
  • Laugh at Yourself: Sometimes, all you can do is laugh at your own misadventures. Trust us; you’ll have some great stories to tell in the future.

Embrace the Adventure

University isn’t always a direct route to our future careers; it’s a journey filled with memories, friendships and life lessons that help us develop ourselves as people. Embrace the ups and downs, and don’t forget to have a good laugh along the way.

Remember, university be a transformative experience. Every challenge faced is an opportunity for growth. So, with this treasure trove of advice at our fingertips, we’re ready to take on the world of higher education with a grin. Enjoy the ride and we may your university years are filled with joy, success and lifelong memories. Embrace the adventure!

With this survival guide and a dash of good luck from your friends at Love2shop, it’s time to conquer the world of university. Go on, make memories and remember: the library is your sanctuary, but student societies or the pub are your refuge. We’ll be raising a glass to an unforgettable uni experience!

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The Ultimate Student’s Guide to Surviving Uni Life
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