University

13 pieces of advice all university students need to know

The Growing Up Guide Student University Graduate Advice

We know what you’re probably thinking, these posts are always so boring. They include the same advice every single time. But here at The Growing Up Guide, we always try to think outside the box.

We’ve come up with 13 pieces of advice that can get you through the next semester and beyond!

Don’t expect fast replies from lecturers

If you need an answer quickly, it is best to speak to them after a lecture, during a class or visit them in their office hours. Some lecturers can take over a week to email back!

Explore the city you’re in

If you commute or have moved to a new city, it can be difficult to have free time to have a proper look around.

Find a spare day, or even just a couple of hours, to go for a wander. You can find some unique, local shops and cafes that are often cheaper than the regular high street!

Make your own lunch and take your own hot drinks

Campus food is so expensive! Just spend a few minutes before setting off making a sandwich, grabbing some snacks and filling your water bottle and travel mug up.

Pack layers to take back with you after Christmas

You can never have too many long-sleeved tops and hoodies! Seriously, student accommodation can be very cold, so can large wooden lecture theatres.

Let’s face it, you can always take a layer off if you get too hot.

Buy yourself a water filter jug

Water is free! Bottled water can be expensive too so you might as well save money where you can! Every little helps, right?

Also very useful to keep in your room if you’re on the top floor of your accommodation and don’t want to walk down to the kitchen every time you want a glass of water.

Bulk cook meals

Either freeze them or leave them in tupperware for the following night. It can be difficult when you don’t have much freezer space but just cook two portions instead of one.

Pasta, chilli, curry- all they need is a spin in the microwave to warm up and you’ve got a quick, filling lunch or dinner.

Unsubscribe from all those shopping newsletters

It will save you money! At Christmas especially, everywhere is having sales and you end up buying a load of stuff you don’t actually need.

Get a clothes horse

You can save money, so instead of using a tumble dryer, shove everything on your airer. It only takes a day or two!

Leave it near a window or out of the way so you don’t keep having to move it constantly.

Or just take your washing home for mum and dad (I bet they’ll love it!).

Make your own first aid box

Always have a few essentials in your room: ibuprofen or paracetamol, plasters, antiseptic cream, a bandage, cough medicine.

At this time of year, we all have coughs and sniffles. Keep a box topped up with essentials throughout the year so you don’t have to buy everything in bulk when it runs out!

Other good extras to add: condoms, vitamins, strepsils, hayfever medication.

Never sleep in your makeup, ever!

Even just a quick wash with a make-up wipe is sufficient enough at 3am. Yes, we know make-up wipes aren’t great for your skin, but they’re better than leaving it on overnight.

Never go food shopping without a list and meal plan

Sit down once a week and see what activities you have that week and plan your meals around them. Then do as big a shop as you possibly can.

Stock up on essentials for the week or even fortnightly and just go out for extra bread/milk/eggs. It means you don’t end up spending tonnes on junk food.

I allow myself one sweet treat per shop, whether that’s Maltesers or a packet of cookies. If you do an online shop, you can have a bit more restraint and have to think about it before typing in your card details, just an idea!

Be mindful of others

Not everyone is a ‘party person’ so it is likely some flatmates may not appreciate shouting or loud music in the early hours.

As much as uni is about enjoying your social life and staying out as late as you want, you are ultimately there to get a decent degree so try to balance it out.

Buy a diary

If there’s one piece of advice that is crucial, this is it. You will have lots of lectures, seminars, assignment deadlines, exams, society events, work shifts.

If you write everything down somewhere and carry it around with you, you won’t be stuck when you have to arrange a group work meeting. We’ve put together a list of our favourite diaries here.

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