University is a scary jump in life and there isn’t much to prepare you for the huge change. As you probably read in my bio, I am a first-year Creative Writing (BA) at Brunel University London and I’d like to share with you my tips for adjusting at uni which will hopefully make your transition easier, and I’m sure even people already in uni will find some of these to be useful.
Talk to your flatmates! – If you’re living on campus, then getting to know your flatmates is the best thing you can do. You’re going to be living with them for the entire academic year and by becoming friends with your flatmates, you make living on campus fun and who wants to live with people they dislike?
Join societies! – By joining a society, you become a part of a group of people that you know you have something in common with. Societies often hold social events which allows you to get out of your room and socialize with like-minded people while doing something that you love.
Leave your room! – If you get stuck in the rut of only leaving your room to go to class then you’ll never end up talking to anyone. A way to to get out would be going to the on-campus café or library to do some work; you’ll still be being productive and the likelihood is … someone will come and talk to you.
Compacting your storage space
Freezer bags! – My advice would be to invest in a load of freezer bags because they will become your best friends. Remove items such as breaded chicken breast or any frozen food in a cardboard box from its original packaging and put it in a freezer bag instead. Cardboard takes up a lot of room in the freezer and is usually more packaging than needed! you can fit three unboxed pizzas in your compartment rather than one.
Have a box under your bed! – You can place any kitchenware that you won’t be using very frequently in there and save so much room in your limited cupboard space. It’s also very handy to hide snacks in for when you can’t be arsed to leave your room for that midnight snack.
Colour code your subjects! – Use a different colour for each module. That way, you can very easily identify the modules and keep track of the notes for each one. You can buy a different folder for each module or if you’re using the same folder, then you can use coloured section dividers and you can colour code your notes by using a highlighter to place a little mark on the top of the page.
Start a bullet journal! – This is a good way to keep track of all your homework, assignments and your timetables. You can create to-do lists, habit trackers and budget trackers which helps you keep your life in check. It’s convenient because they’re all in one place and you can have fun doing it.
Know your timetable! – I really believe that knowing your timetable like the back of your hand is so important because it allows you to schedule your appointments or days out around it and organise your time effectively.
Get yourself on a schedule
Getting yourself on a daily routine is going to really allow you to settle in as you get accustomed to doing things there and it becomes part of your life. Going to bed and getting up at a certain time means you’ll be getting a good amount of sleep which will allow your brain to work at its full efficiency, and those 9am lectures won’t feel as much of a chore.
Tackle your homesickness
Take photos and comforts from home! – Having photos up on your pinboard will bring you comfort as you can see your loved one’s faces. Home comforts such as blankets or dressing gowns will bring you a sense of warmth and will make your room feel more homely.
Go home! – if you’re like me and you’ve moved too far away from home and you can’t pop home when you feel like it … don’t be scared to book a coach or train home wherever possible.
Facetime! – While you may not be with your family and friends in person, facetime allows you to see them and hear their voice which will ease how much you’ll miss them.
Get Unidays! – As a student, you’re eligible for an account with Unidays which offers hundreds of discounts exclusive to students. The discounts included are things such as Spotify premium and online shops.
Second-hand books! – Buying books second-hand makes them way cheaper than buying them new. Plus, you’re able to sell them afterwards which means that you get most of your money back.
Freeze food! – Freezing food allows you to keep food past the ‘use by’ date which means you don’t waste any food and therefore … money!
Essentials to take with you to university
The list below isn’t going to the obvious things that everyone knows (well, potentially one or two) but things people forget they’ll need or don’t know how useful they will be.
- Clothes hose
- Mattress cover
- Clothes hangers
- Toilet brush
- A printer (not essential … very highly recommended)
- Bags for life
- A laptop
- A USB stick
- Birth certificate and NUS (in case you want a part-time job)
- A flask
- Extension lead
- Tupperware container
- A water bottle