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First year university students – expect the unexpected

Which? University has provided a great article on what you might not expect at university.

Here is a breakdown of everything important from the article:

It can be a daunting prospect living away from home for the first time. Especially when everything else around you is going to be brand new as well. New friends to make, new areas to explore, a new way of learning etc. Here are a few things that you might not be expecting but that you should be aware of.

Living independently is a lot easier than you’d expect

A lot of first-year students will have no choice but to live in a college. But you’d be surprised at how much it gives you  you’ll have everything you need to help ease you in with your other nervous first-timers.

Halls are generally fully catered with a library, gym, bar and vending machines for those necessary snacks.

So you’ll soon be shocked to find that you have adapted to living independently from your family than you had expected.

You might think that adjusting to living with a dozen strangers is going to be really difficult. But you will discover that they all have the same worries and it will quickly became normal.

Everything costs money

You will no doubt be used to an almost cost-free lifestyle at the moment. But that will not be the case at all once you’re at university, where everything you do has a price tag.

You’ll have the financial worry of increased university fees, although these are currently taken care of by your student loan. But it’s the day-to-day lifestyle that will most likely be your biggest concern.

You certainly won’t be able to have a lavish lifestyle. And trying to get by on the bare minimum will be a struggle.

Study books and nights out are a given, but you mustn’t forget all those extras. There’s snacks, library fines, fancy dress costumes, and a whole load more. Don’t be under the impression that you won’t need to budget because you think you won’t spend beyond your student loan. Because overspending is way too easy. So checking your bank account regularly and always being aware of how much you spend is the best way to budget.

Organisation and self-motivation are a must

You may have been told by others that, during your first year, you won’t need to do much work. However, be prepared that your workload could be a lot heavier that you are anticipating. So you need to be organised to be able to stay on top of everything.

You need to commit to extra-curricular activities

If you’re used to doing extra-curricular activities at school, be prepared for the fact that university activities will take up a lot more of your time that those you did at school. University clubs and societies will expect commitment, so try out as many different clubs as you can during your first few weeks and then commit to just one or two.

(Original article by Joanna Thom for Which? University)

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