I'm feeling well and truly inspired to write about student life and experiences especially due to the fact I'm currently in the third year myself and I seem to be spending all my time in the University Library (As I still don't have internet in my house!) Today I thought I'd write about the things I wish somebody had told me before I went off to University!
1. It's okay not to go straight away to University at 18.
Who knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives at 17/18 years old? I certainly didn't but I still went off to University at the age of 18 and I ended up changing courses and universities! If you want to take a gap year, take a gap year. I took a year out after I completed my first year at university and I went travelling to New Zealand and Australia and you can read some of my posts about it here, here, here and here.
2. Get a Summer Job (before you go to University)
Depending on the university you end up going to I first went to Birmingham and so that's quite an expensive city to live in, you'll need extra money before your student loan comes in. You tend to move into your student halls a week or two before university begins and you'll need those extra pennies for going out with all the new friends you'll make!
3. Find a good student bank account deal
When I first went to university I got a free railcard with my student bank account which was a total lifesaver. I used the train all the time so it must have saved me hundreds in the long run! You can get great deals for when you first start university with banks and TSB student accounts have a good deal for a £1,500 interest free overdraft (total win!) If you want to find out more information and some money saving tips check out the Savvy Students Guide.
4. Budget for weekly expenses
Okay so this may seem like a great idea but it's hard to stick to. I began trying to budget at university but then my social life took over and I was always going out. Now I'm in third year I'm trying to be a bit more savvy. I can't go out as much due to my deadlines and other commitments but I still enjoy going out and socialising. Remember you need to budget for things like food, phone bills, going out, clothes, alcohol, going home to see your family and friends as well as university expenses.
5. Make the most of the opportunities available
The freshers fair may sound super boring but at the fresher's fair it's your chance to join societies, try something new like a new sport and really see what your university has to offer. In my second year I was part of a Volleyball team and I loved it! Don't be afraid to join a society as you'll make tones of new friends once you are there. Being an Art & Design student they are very big on placement years at my university and some of the girls from my course are now on placement with companies from Missguided to Oxfam and Alexander McQueen. Some of these opportunities came from the university and there contacts. I would have loved to do a placement year but after already taking a year out and working I knew it wasn't right for me.
What do you wish you were told before going to University?