The Uni Adzvice Series #1 - 5 Tips Before You Go
Contributed by Jennifer Frimpong
So you are going to university in the next few weeks? Or maybe you've already started? Fresher or returner, this post should equip you with 5 top tips to really get the most out of your uni experience.
First and foremost, you are in university to learn, to get a degree and ultimately better yourself. Do not take your academic institution for granted. The majority of universities have amazing resources to offer, you just have to be proactive in finding and utilising them. Faculties tend to assign you to a personal tutor who will assist your academic and personal development throughout the course of your studies – make use of them – air any concerns or struggles that you may have. Libraries tend to have academic research and writing services – be sure to turn to them ahead of any assignment deadlines.
Money, money, money!
Money can be pretty stressful to deal with at university but provided you manage it right, you will certainly pull through! Of course, if you are a domestic student, you will be eligible for your student fees to be paid for by Student Finance UK as well as access to maintenance loans and in some cases maintenance grants.
Make sure you find out if you are eligible for any scholarships from your faculty! It is so important to not get overwhelmed with the money that drops into your account every semester because you have to cover your accommodation and utilities, groceries, travel (if applicable) and arguably much more.
I would advise that you pay off your accommodation and utilities off as soon as you receive your loan instalments and allocate money for each and every expense you have over the weeks. Having a part-time job helps too so if you can juggle working with your studies, do!
For more money-specific tips, you should check out the money section of the blog.
Explore your options for financial support
I went to the University of Southampton (shout out to you guys!) and every academic year we were given a £300 Entitlement Card to purchase our books, stationery and the like from our campus store. Find out if your university has anything like this an,d make the most of it.
Quick tip- depending on your course, you may not need to purchase all books – have a look in the library first and always ask for advice from students on your course in their penultimate and final year.
Mental Health is a very sensitive topic and university, in general, can be an emotionally and mentally taxing environment. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. There are a variety of resources available to you as students on campus from counsellors to group support meetings – do not suffer alone, do not suffer in silence. Half Full Not Empty (@hfne_), offer fantastic support services and there are indeed others. Feel free to @ Adzvice or myself on Twitter if you need help finding some.
University is indeed what you make it. Step out of your comfort zone. These are 3 to 4 even 7 years (for you some of you medics and architects!) where you arguably have no real responsibilities other than to study and graduate. Join societies, try a new sport, do it all!
On behalf of the Adzvice team of contributors, we would like to wish you all the best in the upcoming academic year! Keep your eyes peeled for more posts from the Uni Adzvice on academic support, motivation and the like.