We spoke to students from across the UK to find out what they wish they’d known before starting university. It’s a huge life change, and we want you to be as prepared as possible. Even if you’re a current student, these things may help you if you’re struggling with things right now…
It can be isolating
If you feel isolated at university, you’re not alone. A lot of students feel the same way, and it is important that you have a support system around you to help with this. Schedule time to speak with friends and family back home, join a society, speak to your flatmates and open up to your lecturers. There are so many people who will be willing to help you feel less lonely!
Cheese is *very* expensive
This one is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but if you are a brand new university student at 18 you might never have done your own food shopping before. Cheese is a lot more expensive than you’d think, and so are a lot of other things. Write a shopping list before you go, and always check out the reduced section. If there’s something you and your housemates use a lot, see if you can buy it in bulk and split the cost.
It’s okay if you don’t have your future figured out
No matter where you’re up to in your studies, don’t feel like you have to have your next step mapped out. It can be easy to feel like everyone else knows exactly what they’re doing after graduation but the truth is, a lot of people will be in the same boat as you. Take every opportunity you can, grab it with both hands and get as much experience as possible under your belt – future you will be so grateful!
Just because everyone else has an overdraft, it doesn’t mean you need one
And let’s face it – not everyone does have one. University is expensive, even with loans and grants in place. Create a budget for yourself, and see where you can cut down on unnecessary costs. Speak to your flatmates and see if you can share the cost of things like Disney+ and Netflix; have nights in instead of nights out sometimes, and cook for yourself as often as you can instead of ordering takeaways.
Make an effort with your tutors
We’re not saying you need to be best friends with them, but if you’re polite to them and a good student then they’ll be on your side should any issues arise further down the line. Let them know if you can’t make it to a seminar, and get involved with lectures and discussions. After all, you’re paying to be there so you might as well make the most of it!
These are just five things current and previous students wish they’d known before heading off to university. It’s a whole new experience, and one that can be the best time of your life – but one that can also be very difficult. Cityheart Living strive to ensure our accommodation is safe and secure for all our students as well as being a comfortable new home. We understand that this can often be our students first long term stay away from home and our onsite accommodation teams offer a warm welcome to help them settle in.