Tuesday 3 September 2019

Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

AD | Hello my darlings! The thought of starting university can be scary for anyone. You may be leaving home or scared of making new friends worrying that no-one is going to like you or you could be excited and looking forward to starting your course or attending all of the parties that you already have planned in your head. Well, no-one knows what university is going to be like until you get there as it's different for everyone. But here are a couple of little things I'd wished I'd have known before starting university...

| Pick A Course You Love | I'm not going to lie, it took me three times in college to decide what I wanted to be studying, and I'm so thankful for that as I went into university excited and ready to learn more. However, so many of my friends and people I'd met at uni started dropping out one by one because they didn't like the course they had picked or because it was too hard or because it wasn't what they were expecting. If you have started a course and you don't wish to continue it for whatever reason, speak to your tutor or your university's dean as they will be able to help. Don't just drop out, remember why you started and why you wanted to come to university.

| The Workload is Like Nothing Before | Remember when in junior school and you started using A5 size paper for the first time? Or in high school and you started getting homework and GSCE stress? Or maybe even college when you realised high school work was easy compared to college work? Well, uni work is all that and much more rolled into one. Your workload will feel big, heavy and undoable at times but you can do this if you put the hours and time in. If you feel like you are falling behind, or that you need a little bit extra help then speak to your tutor or your university's dean as they will be able to help and guide you a little bit better.

| Your tutors Are There To Help You | If you do feel like you're falling behind or that the stress of uni is getting too much for you, reach out and talk to a tutor. They are there to help and can be amazing at getting you through these tough times with extra support. If you don't want to speak to your tutor then try your university's dean as he/she will be able to help and are always make time for students to be able to just unload, listen and support. I wouldn't have gotten through university without the help and support from my tutors or dean.

| There Will Always Be A Party | There will always be something happening at university but you don't have to attend every single event or go out every night. You know the quote "you can always retake a class, but you can never retake a party" well that is bollocks. Don't just go out because everyone else is, don't fall into peep pressure or your friends egging you on - even if they are the most popular people in university and you want to fit in. Think about your future. Now, I'm not saying miss every party go out once a week instead or save your money up for the big nights out like Halloween or Christmas time. I'm not saying don't be social, instead plan pizza and movie nights in, spa nights, etc - your liver and bank balance will thank you for it!

| You'll Lose Touch With Close Friends | You know them BBFs that you are planning to speak to every day and spend time with every weekend even though you are both now in a different school? That won't happen, and that's okay. You won't necessarily have a row with them, you'll just move on and grow into your own skin and life goes on - which is also okay too because you will both be busy and will have loads to catch up on when the time is right for you to do so. Just make sure that you remember to send them a little text every week or so, it doesn't have to be a big conversation or long message, just a simple "cannot wait for a big catch up soon" or "missing you, need to have a coffee when I'm home" they will really thank you for it.

| You'll Make New Friends | Everyone goes to university worried that they're not going to meet new friends and it will feel really lonely. At first, it may do because you don't know anyone but everyone is feeling the same and is wanting to make friends too so speak to as many people as you possibly can. If you're in a student house then host a pizza night where you can all get together and learn more about each other, everyone in the house will really thank you for it.

| You'll Live on Cheap Food | You may start off eating great or eating out every night, but by the end of university you'll realise how expensive it can be eating out every night and you'll be so thankful for what you can get. Now, I'm not saying that you will starve but you will live on the quick and easy meals of instant noodles or microwave meals - not the healthiest!! Instead of having quick ad easy instant noodles when you're in the middle of a big study session, maybe yourself a sandwich with salad in or a big bowl of pasta with lots of veggies beforehand then grab that with a piece of fruit - your body will thank you for it.

| You'll Miss Home | Instead of starting at home when starting university or moving onto campus or into a nearly by student house, I decided to move twenty-four miles away into the next town and had to take a train into university every time I had a class - and you know what, I don't regret a second of it. I was off-campus so wasn't out every night at the "most amazing party ever" and was away from all of the drama that comes with university and I bloody loved it. I got myself a little flat with my bestie and we lived there whilst I was at university, it was brilliant. Although being at university brought me so many ways of being more independent, it also made me miss home and my little brother so much. 

| Self-care Is Important | There is nothing more important than your own self-care, remember that. Take as many breaks as you can: have a bubble bath, enjoy your favourite drink or snack in quietness, call a family member or friend for a chat, read some of your favourite books, listen to your favourite song, start your days with a run, or take up meditation or yoga. University can be so stressful at times that you will need to do this as often as you possibly can for your own mental health and well-being.

| Enjoy Every Moment | Looking back, I took so much for granted when I was in university. Life is so short and time moves so fast that I wish I could have realised that when I was studying, sometimes I wish I could go back to days where things seemed so simple even during the stress. You'll never ever have anything happen in your life like going to university again so soak it all up, the knowledge of course but everything else too and make memories that you can tell your grandchildren about!

I really hope some of these little tips help some of you out, I'm sending you all so much love and wishing you all of the positive vibes and happiness for starting this new journey of your life. Hope you all have the most wonderful day!

With love, Alisha Valerie. x