So, you’ve done the hard part: you’ve conquered your A-Levels and got into the university of your choice – congratulations! Now, what on earth do you take with you?! Don’t fret, super Chloe is here…
First, a quick few boring tips:
- Aim to travel light! Don’t make the same mistake I did and overpack. You’re moving into a small room with very limited storage space. Take a suitcase of clothes, a quilt, pillows, all the essentials.
- Don’t splash out on expensive stuff. You’ll find perfectly decent quilts, pillows and stationery at the likes of Home and Bargain.
- Also, this may seem obvious but make sure you’ve checked what the uni will be providing you with before you go out and splash the cash on things you’ll end up with two of.
Now, young grasshopper, here’s a few tips for surviving your lectures and seminars:
- Sit where you’re comfortable in lecture theatres and seminar rooms. You don’t want to sit right near the front, especially if you’ve been graced with a haughty, arrogant (possibly verbally abusive) professor. My suggestion is the mid-back. Optimum seatage.
- Don’t write everything down! Writing down every word your lecturer says will give you hand cramps and brain cramps. Also, it’s actually really unimportant. You want to get down main points, key info and a few sub-points. Viola! If you write down irrelevant information about how Churchill proposed to his wife, Clemmy, in the Blenheim Palace gardens you will hate yourself and your modules.
- Pay attention to important themes. This really applies more to humanities, social sciences and the arts. For example, I study History and Politics, so I found that a lot of things overlapped like revolutions, ideologies and war.
- Learning the skill of avoiding difficult questions in seminars is a skill of mine. It’s one you should try to master ASAP. First, not making eye contact is key. Look engrossed in your notes; this is where a laptop comes in. So handy. But if you’ve only got a pad and pen with you, just look around the room and look someone in the eyes – they’ll soon speak up, before you’re asked.
When it comes to living in halls…
- Build a support system. Your flatmates are your family away from home; the people who you will need to turn to for advice at 2 in the morning, and to rant to about how much that goddamn annoying ‘Making History’ module is. NOONE CARES ABOUT THE ‘HISTORY OF SPACE’!! WHAT EVEN IS THAT?? WHO CARES ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AGES AND THEIR VIEW OF HOW MANY CONTINENTS THERE ARE?? WHO!! CARES!!
- Try to put off washing your clothes for as long as possible when you’re living in halls. It costed me a fiver to do a wash and tumble dry this year. Once you reach second year and you have the beauty of a washing machine in your house, you can use it to your heart’s content.
- Make simple food. Your essentials should include pasta, pasta sauces and frozen food from Iceland (the shop, dummy). Cheap and easy. Love it.
- If you’re crossing the North-South divide like I did, the cost of a night out will really shock you. To keep the cost down, I suggest getting some cheap ale in – £3.40 wine from Tesco, The Straw Hat, is a personal fave of mine – and then just get yourself a couple of cheapo shots when you’re out.
The most important thing about First Year, though, is that you have fun. That’s what your first year is for! Yes, studying is important, but it’s all about the personal experience. Now, down it FRESHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!