My first semester

I have been a uni student for three months and despite feeling clueless on referencing and still not knowing my way around the library I feel like I have obtained a little knowledge I can share with you all. I am yet to master the art of looking after myself but I feel as though I have got to grips with just about surviving a semester at university.

Now I think we’d all agree, one of the first things that comes to mind when we think of University is freshers. Freshers fortnight gave me some of the best nights out I’ve ever had, so I tell you now, make the most of it. It gives you the opportunity to meet so many people and just have a good time. I learnt that drinks are extremely cheap for students so I also recommend making the most of that while you’re there. Although freshers comes with all the drinking, fun and reckless decisions I also warn you that there is a strong possibility, you will suffer with freshers flu. I don’t think there has been a single day since then, that I have felt completely alright, you will always feel ill, this is your life now.

Now one thing I think every parent worries about is how their child will feed themselves, I know my mum had some concerns, so much so she even wrote: ‘remember to eat’ in my farewell card. If you are like me and you know you cannot cook, it may be a new thing you want to avoid trying. I burnt and destroyed my frying pan on my third day here and haven’t attempted to cook bacon since. I also managed to set the alarm off once this semester, yeah I’m that person. My savour has been ready meals, yes I know so boring and bad for you. But I have managed to find healthy-ish options after many trips to the local Tesco: paellas, salmon and veggies, Chinese dishes, the list goes on. Once you start to get to grips with how much food one person realistically needs a week you notice how little the weekly food shop can cost. I often spend between £20 -£35 a week on food and I am set for the week, write a list, keep it precise and you won’t find yourself overspending.

Now if you are/have been a student you may have shared the excitement that came with your student loan being put in your bank account. I planned out my weekly budget but once you see the money in your account I’ll admit it’s hard to stick to. And again, if you’re like me and you need a little retail therapy when you’re down, a student loan can be a dangerous thing. Remember you can treat yourself, just within reason. You don’t need to buy that top in every colour, you don’t need to take yourself out for lunch every other day and you don’t need to spend over a £100 on clothes in the space of two weeks cause you got some bad news, that one I may be guilty of. As I near the end of the semester and have paid the deposit for a house I now see why I should have stuck to my weekly budget, but hey there’s always next semester to get myself straight.

Now here comes the boring part, assignments and deadlines. No matter how many times I say ‘don’t leave it until the last minute’ most of you will, but if I say it at least you can’t tell me I didn’t try to warn you. So, don’t leave it until the last minute. More importantly, don’t fall victim to the stress, remember to take breaks and look after yourself. That is much more important. Do your best, put the work in, get assignments in on time, but don’t beat yourself up over any of it.

University has introduced me to people from all over the country, and the world, to a subject I have fallen in love with and to a new place I am beginning to see as my second home. The only advice I can offer thus far, is enjoy every moment of it, especially first semester because that’s when they go easy on you.

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