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    How To Survive Your First Year At University

    By Sylvia Nankivell

    Sylvia shares tips on how to manage the precarious balance of study, money and socialising as a new student

    #studentbudget  #studentlife #timemanagement

    From the moment you arrive at university, it’s a strange new world. Typically a student is living away from home for the first time, and there’s a lot to absorb.

    What with money worries and socialising… not to mention studying, the whole thing seems like one giant balancing act! At times it will seem like you’ll never survive.

    We’re here to tell you it’s not as difficult as it looks. This guide covers big, important stuff, but also those little things that trip you up when you’re trying to find your feet.

    Follow our 4 simple steps to take the pressure off, so you can work and play effectively…

    1. Planning

    “Be prepared” is our first, and arguably most important, piece of advice. And we mean being prepared for everything, from setting off to settling down.

    Have you thought about this? Packing. It’s easy to think you can just sling a load of stuff in a bag and jump on the train, but there is a lot to remember. Make a list!

    Plus, if you were anything like us at uni, you’ll arrive at your accommodation with the stuff you need right at the bottom of a holdall jammed with clothes.

    Get a small bag of essentials such as a toothbrush ready in advance. That way you can freshen up without having to organise your entire living space first.

    Your journey there is also a major factor. Travelling by train? For the cheapest tickets you have to book a very long time ahead. Luckily there are other options for savings.

    For instance, a 16-25 Railcard gives a third off travel for young people.

    Top tip – you can currently get an effective 50% off your railcard by using cashback. Find out more about that here.

    2. Routine

    Maybe you’re one of those people who gets up when they want to get up, and rarely sees the world before midday. There are plenty of students like that!

    Here’s the thing. You will have to start a routine sooner or later. Preferably sooner - you’re going to have deadlines, as well as making time for fun and friends.

    Think of it as preparing yourself for a grown up career. 3 years of having a routine means you won’t be all over the place when it’s time to start your first proper job.

    3. Finance

    One of the most important parts of the student balancing act is personal finance. If you don’t stay on top of your accounts, then you’ll rapidly find yourself in trouble.

    Now, an accepted fact of student life is getting an income to supplement your loan. A part time job takes the edge off, and there are lots of places to find a vacancy.

    A good way of earning a little extra on top is to sign up with online survey sites. For answering a few questions you can make cash and also get things like vouchers.

    It’s also recommended that you start crunching those numbers asap. Learning to budget is a vital skill that’ll help you through life, not just university.

    4. Friends

    Uni is a place to make friends for life. But for many people, going up and talking to strangers is difficult. That first night at the student bar can be fraught with tension!

    Don’t sweat the small stuff. For starters, everyone else is in the same boat. You won’t be the only anxious person there. Making friends is a skill like any other.

    It isn’t lame to read up on socialising, particularly if you’ve never really done it before. Guides exist to help you and you can read them in the comfort of your own home.

    Another thing to remember is it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at uni. Many experience isolation and don’t know who to talk to. Some further info on that is available here.

    If, like Sylvia, you would like to write a blog for UniHub, get in touch with us now

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