Things They Don't Tell You About First Year
By the time this post goes live, I'll officially be done with my first year of university (and I've passed!) so I thought I'd share a couple of words of advice with those in their final year of sixth form and college who may be heading off to university in September...
- Freshers is not as fun as it may seem. It's a brilliant opportunity to meet new people and take advantage of (hopefully) being eighteen and hitting the clubs but it's not that brilliant - unless of course you are fully planning to drink enough to forget the evening which your liver will hate you for.
- You'll probably only go out once or twice after freshers. I think I've been out a grand total of maybe ten times? But nights in with take out and movies are far more fun and they cost less.
- Your room will probably be the size of a shoebox but that means less vacuuming, hey?
- Dishes will become the bane of your existence. Who knew it took so many to simply cook tea?
- If you can, buy a laptop. Everything is done through online typed submissions. It doesn't have to be a fancy Macbook but if you're considering going Apple, wait till you have a university email because then you get a Apple Education discount worth over £100.
- When your parents move you in and help you with your initial grocery shop, make sure they buy a 5kg bag of pasta. It's all you'll eat for the next year and it's a heavy item to cross off your grocery list. Same applies to canned tomatoes, spices and stock cubes. The kind of things that are normally just there.
- Frozen peas definitely count as one of your five a day. As does the 50p squash from Iceland.
- Aldi and Lidl are incredible. Honestly. Write a list, hit them up and if there's anything missing, move onto Asda or Tesco. You'll save so much money!
- Don't buy hundreds of ring bound files. I only use one and spiral bound notebooks with dividers are far more helpful and less heavy!
- Save every Amazon voucher for books (coming from a Literature student, I'm glad I did.) Compulsory reading alone was worth £90 but get to the library quick if you're on a tight budget! If you have a kindle/iPad, most books can also be found free or cheaper online.
- Do your laundry. Mum isn't around to tell you to give those jeans a wash so make sure you don't stink out your friends. Also, wash your bedding. It's gross. Don't put it off for two weeks because then it doesn't fit in the washing machine and costs more.
- Packed lunches are always cheaper - but some unis do cheap hot food, decide when you're having a main meal and plan wisely.
- Bulk cook and freeze portions. Homemade portions of curry and bolognese is far nicer than Iceland's finest.
- Buy bulk meat and divide them into portions so that you're not thawing 10 chicken breasts at a time.
- Budget. Those shoes may be gorgeous now, but they won't be so gorgeous at the end of the month when you're living off bread and water.
- You don't have to go to lectures but if you do choose a lie in over that 9am Marxism lecture, it will haunt you. And you'll have no idea whats happening.
- Get your second year accommodation sorted by Christmas. This seems ridiculously early but the best houses/flats will be gone and you'll be left with the dodgy, mouldy flat that no one wants.
- Lectures don't chase you if you don't do your work but submit everything early (in case the wifi breaks at a critical moment). Don't forget you're paying £9000 for this.
- On the first day of freshers you'll probably make a pact to move in with your flatmates from halls, but it won't happen. You'll stay friends, but wait till you meet people on your course till you make a final decision. But don't panic, the right people will come along and make things far easier.
- Never buy Ben&Jerry's at full price, wait till it's half price and stock up (I have two pints in the freezer for an emergency)
- Farmfoods sells the best and cheapest toilet paper. 1ply is not something you want to experience. (Nikki brand anyone?)
- Keep. Your. Room. Tidy. With such a small space, if you so much as leave one thing out of place, it looks like a bomb has exploded.
- But also, have fun. First year is a time for having fun (especially as it doesn't count towards your degree...) so enjoy it! Meet people, go out, explore the new city. It'll be worth it in the end.
So, this was initially meant to be one of those comedic posts but it's turned into more of a things I've learned at university but hey ho. I hope you enjoyed this post. Are any of you off to uni? Are there any things you'd like to add to the list?