You’ve made it, you’re here. You’ve managed to get through school and pass enough exams to move on to the next stage – university. Your excitement is barely containable; the thought of finally moving away from the confines of your nosy parents and your annoying siblings thrills you to no end. But this is the first time you’ve been away from home, and no one is going to pick your washing up or cook your dinners for you – you’re on your own now. How will you cope? How does the washing machine work? What even is a washing machine, right? How do you get the perfect balance between studying hard enough to come out with a grade that won’t cause your family to disown you, but have enough fun that your new life isn’t totally dull? How are you going to afford it all? SO many questions, who has the answers?
Here at TicketWeb Towers, we’re seasoned student pros, and we’ve banged our heads together to come up with a super comprehensive guide on how to battle your way through uni and still look back on it when you’re old with fond, fond memories. Will it all be plain sailing? Probably not. Can we guarantee our guide is the student gospel? Definitely not, and our lawyers want you to know that if you fail or have a less than happy time after following these guidelines, it’s not our fault. Honestly. But you won’t, so sit back, and prepare to be blown away.
We’re going to get the tips for the boring stuff out of the way because we know you didn’t really go to university just to get a degree but unfortunately, that’s part of the terms and conditions of doing one of these things…
It goes without saying that you should go to your lectures and seminars and take as many notes as possible. Speak to other people on your course and compare notes – you never know what you might not have picked up or misunderstood.
Katie suggests arranging study sessions with your friends on your course. “Everyone revises in different ways and it’s a great way to find the best method for you AND you remember the most random facts because everyone has stories; weird and wonderful anecdotes to help you remember”
The fabled student diet isn’t something to be scoffed at. It’s more than likely during your time at university that you’re going to find yourself eating things that you didn’t even know existed. Own-brand value foods and the reduced section of the supermarket are quickly going to become your new best friends. 16p noodles are a thing, and if you don’t indulge on them at least a few times throughout your time at uni, the general consensus is that you’re probably not doing it properly.
Potato waffles and cheese toasties were a firm favourite of the TicketWeb crew during our uni days, but never underestimate how far a jumbo packet of pasta and some tomato sauce will get you – same goes for rice and value sauces. Think Heston Blumenthal on a budget. Lacking inspiration? Check out the Champion Snacking Tumblr.
You’re going to miss home, you’re going to miss your friends, but it’s all about making sure that you create a comfortable living environment that keeps you close to home without actually being there. Make your new bedroom as cosy as possible – this is your sanctuary, and if it doesn’t feel like home then you’re going to be pretty miserable. Stick up pictures of your friends and family, your favourite bands or anything else that makes you feel like you. Creature comforts are essential for your university survival and will make you feel more at ease through the pressures of your degree.
A top tip to keep in touch with everyone you’ve left behind is to get Skype and try to arrange Skype sessions with your friends and family as regularly as possible. You want to enjoy the perks of university and make new friends, so don’t pressure yourself into a rigorous routine otherwise you’ll be missing out on getting in the throes of everything, but in the words of J-Lo, no matter where you go, know where you came from.
When you finally move out of halls, you’re going to want to move in with the best people you can find. We’d suggest making sure you have a good mix of guys and girls, just to keep the balance in the house, and remember that you’re going to be stuck with these people for at least a year, so no one flaky or dodgy (you knew that anyway though, right?).
Now to get the party started! No matter what your budget is, there’s always room to get amongst it and enjoy the perks of university nights out. Firstly, we’d suggest going to freshers events to meet as many new people as you can and mix with other people who aren’t on your course. Try and pick out nights that appeal to your taste the most; the music you’re into is a big reflection of your personality and the kind of company you’ll want to keep. That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a good, old fashioned, cheesy night out, and as our Lisa says, “there’s always time for Chubawumba”. Always.
At TicketWeb, we’re always offering you student types the best deals that we can possibly scour, so it’s always good to keep an eye on our Student Deals page to see what bargains we’ve got on offer. When it comes to drinks, Katie suggests getting pitchers to share and to avoid Prosecco because, “you’ll get a taste for it and never go back”. We can vouch for the fact that Katie definitely has not looked back on her Prosecco days. If you are of the expensive, fizzy persuasion, keep the “champagne lifestyle, lemonade money” motto firmly in your head at all times. The bank of mum and dad isn’t going to want to shell out for you to be drinking Cristal or Grey Goose when Tesco’s Finest Cava and Glen’s vodka are going to do the job.
We’d also suggest keeping an eye out for what the Student Union has got going on. Gone are the days where the SU wasn’t cool, these days the Student Union can be one of the best places to catch your favourite bands and comedy talent, usually at a bargain price too! Good times are never too far away.
The most important advice though comes right here: enjoy yourself, and always be the best that you can be. University is a strange and wonderful time of self-discovery, but no matter what happens, it’s all going to work out in the end, even if it doesn’t always feel like it will. You will make friends that you will keep forever, make mistakes that you’ll learn a lot from and perhaps, in a few years’ time, you’ll be passing down your uni wisdom to the next generation.
Until next time…