University can be the changing point in many young people’s lives: they grow in confidence, soar intellectually and spend more money on alcohol than they ever thought they would. As my first year of university begins its final stretch, I have come across some tips that will ensure any student’s survival:
- Be smart with money
Even though it can be liberating having a student loan, it isn’t meant to be spent on designer clothes and Jägerbombs. It needs to cover rent, food, textbooks and any social adventures you may embark on.
The best way to be smart with your money is to try and enter university with some of your own to fall back on: get a summer job, work hard and you’ll be a lot less stressed financially.
Next, pay off your accommodation fees early. Then you can budget how much you should spend per month or week – go down to the day, if you really want to be strict with yourself.
Another tip is to use mobile banking: you can check regularly on your money and keep some reserved in a separate account to avoid overspending.
- Make the most of freshers
This is the week where everyone is out to make friends: so do just that. Although it can be great, everyone will have a stint at university where they may miss home or feel stressed or depressed. This is when you need others. We are social animals and having friends to fall back on will ensure you make it through any rough patches. Freshers is a great way to make them.
- Work comes first
University isn’t one big party – you’re there to learn, to work hard and to get a degree. The social side may be the most fun, but don’t lose sight of your purpose there.
If you fall behind on work you may become stressed, meaning you fall behind even further and feel even more stressed. Stay on top of your work; try and enjoy it as much as your weekend downtime.
A healthy balance is key – neither work nor social should become overbearing and take over your life. This means you can enjoy every second of your university experience.
What do you think about these tips? Do you have any of your own? Let us know!
Alex Caesari, 19, Norwich