University is a unique experience. For people, like me, who graduated a couple years ago, it’s an experience I often miss. Admittedly, the stress of exams and assignments aren’t missed. University provides students with so many opportunities you’re not likely to have again.
Graduates regularly wish they had taken more of the opportunities available to them at University. Here are 13 things to make the most of whilst at University to ensure you don’t have the same regrets after graduation.
Student current account
Banks like to entice students to open an account with them – use this to your advantage. Besides the interest-free overdraft, some banks also offer extra perks such as a free 16-25 railcard for 3 years or a free coach card to get reduced coach travel.
Make sure to compare accounts to see which one suits you best.
If used incorrectly, overdrafts can be dangerous. However, with student accounts, you can get one interest free. If used wisely, it can be a good thing to take advantage of. For example, you may want to use some of it to invest in yourself.
As students, money can often be scarce and you may need a little extra to tide you over till the next student finance instalment. However, make sure to try and pay it off before the interest free period is over to prevent damaging your credit score.
Are you really even a student if you don’t use your student discount? Your student ID card provides you with discount in many stores all year round such as New Look or Nandos.
Some stores only accept NUS card for student discount so if it’s a store you shop at regularly it may be worth buying one. If you’re a fan of online shopping, make sure you’re signed up to Unidays as many online shops offer discount via their website/app.
University is a time when you’ll be surrounded by a vast amount of people from different walks of life. This is an opportunity to possibly make lifelong friends and contacts that may come in useful later on in life.
Three or four months off in the summer is the ultimate luxury. I would almost consider doing another degree just for those months off. You can use this time to travel; June is a great time to travel as it’s not peak time.
You can also use this time to earn some money. Many retail stores offer summer seasonal jobs which are perfect for students and they can sometimes give you a transfer to a store where you’re studying.
If you can get a job in a field relevant to your degree that’s an added bonus but nothing to stress about if you don’t.
If you’re not commuting to university, it may be the first time you’re living away from home. This may seem a daunting experience but living away from home has numerous benefits.
It gives you the opportunity to become independent and prepares you for life as an adult. For example, you now have to do your food shopping yourself and cook for yourself as well. The freedom from your parents is pretty refreshing too.
University provides the opportunity to join various societies. Make the most of opportunity and try something new and make friends outside of your course.
There will be sports or activities you’ve never heard of before, go to the taster sessions since they’re usually free. Many societies do trips too! Keep an eye out.
Some degrees offer a years placement or a summer placement. This is a valuable period of time as you get to spend time working in a field relating to your degree. It helps provide experience which is helpful when applying for jobs.
Doing a placement means you know which area of interest you want to go into after your degree, it’s like a test run – and you’re paid for it.
Some degrees offer a chance to spend a few months or a year abroad. This is an amazing opportunity especially if you love travelling. It gives a whole new dimension to the student experience. Studying abroad allows you to meet new people, experience new cultures and maybe pick up a few language skills!
Universities often offer various ways to volunteer as they know students need that something extra on their CV.
In addition to improving your CV it’s a good feeling to know you’ve given back to a community whether local or abroad and it helps to give you a different perspective on life.
Take time to explore the new city you’re living in. Expand your general knowledge and don’t forget the amazing Instagram picture opportunities. Every town will have some kind of free activities, look out for museums, live music or open-air plays/acting.
Students have a large amount of free time. It could be during term-time when your timetable shows half or full days off. It’s not likely that, after university, you’ll have this amount of free time again. Make sure to use this time wisely.
If it’s term-time, try to use some of the free time for your assignments. Instead of spending all day watching Netflix, use some of the hours and take up a new skill or hobby. You may even be able to turn it into a way of extra income.
Besides all the fun and games of university, the main aim is to learn as much as you can and get that degree. It is a privilege, so make sure you don’t get distracted, make the most of being taught by lecturers well renowned in their field and complete your assignments on time. Aim to come out with a degree that you’re proud of.