So you’ve read our guide to surviving the first days of university and now you think you’re sorted; student life will be a problem-free parade of lazy days, communal bliss and cheap beer come nightfall.
While we admire your optimism, the more realistic of you will probably understand that living in a new place with new people and a new lifestyle is bound to include a few moments of stress and wonder. From sharing showers to cleaning kitchens, morning lectures to missing your mum, here we have a light-hearted look at what many of you can expect from the first term of university living...
It happens every year, amongst freshers and those that should know better. If you are one of the lucky percentages of students that have the backing from the folks not to worry too much about the loan, then you can skip ahead. As it is, most students will be more than aware of how limited funds can get in the way of the joys of student life. Despite this, every year some students get a rush of blood to the head when loan day finally arrives, throwing their cash at Nutella Frappuccino's games and shop assistants. It’s hard not to and part of the maturing process many students go through, but realising every fiver spent on downloads will be needed come Christmas is the first lesson of many in the economies of studentdom.
Women love diamonds, men love football, pirates love booty. While many would argue that most male students would agree with the pirates too, one of the quickest lessons in student living is the value of dairy products. Cows certainly don’t get enough credit – because milk and cheese in a student fridge are commodities that demand guarding. Never mind the TV in the lounge, the post-party CDs scattered across the floor or the designer trainers in the garden, the one thing I can almost guarantee is thus: you will not drink all of your milk. From simple tea making, cereal swilling and midnight cocoa brewing, your milk will be stolen (and that’s not even mentioning the cheese). We can offer only three words of advice here to cut out a lot of the thievery...Buy Red Top.
Ear plugs and alarm clocks
You’ll feel like a grandma, a moaning neighbour or someone with far too much social anxiety, but ear plugs are a must come deadline time in the first term. Such is the nature of freshers living that students don’t all have hand-ins at the same time, so you can expect any sleep ahead of exams to be broken by celebrating neighbours crashing around their room or tearful housemates demanding 4am reassurance after their crush has left with another girl. As for alarm clocks, you NEED one. Or two. Actually, after sometimes using three different sources of wake up call or alarm, personal experience says that if you don’t want to get up, you won’t. But for those that want to make it on time, these are a must, right from day one of university.
There’s no shame in it, we all do it... sometimes there’s nothing better than a comforting word from mother. Embrace the freedom uni has given you and enjoy the independence but there’s no need to be a stranger to family and friends. Many students find they start to miss home at some point during the first year, so if and when it comes don’t panic, there’s nothing wrong with a reassuring word from parents, siblings and supporters back home. Coming to uni doesn’t mean the loss of your life at home, just look at it as gaining a new one – so you get to live two lives, just like a spy - but hopefully less dramatic.
Sending out an S.O.S
Sure the fun and frolics of fresher life can sometimes be all-consuming and there is nothing wrong with that. Just remember that everything your doing this year needs to be passed, and whilst often the actual grades will not count to your final grade or honours, it helps to pay attention. Any lecturer worth their salt will tell u everything u learn is the start of the academic journey is more than necessary in the later more complex elements of degree learning, so if you have let yourself get slack with readings and revision, don’t be scared to ask for help, even in first year. Your lecturers, seminar leaders and personal tutors are not just there to take the cash; they are there to help...so if you have any genuine problems or find yourself behind, life gets a lot easier if you ask for a little help.
Written for Student Source by:
John Staff - BA (Hons), Journalism and Advertising - 1st Class Honours From Lincoln University.
Photo by Kind permission of Prime Student Living - Property: Cable Street Lancaster