University 101: Everything You Need To Know

by - 9/15/2016

So, September's here and a lot of us will be heading back to university.
I'll be heading back to Sheffield Hallam for my third year at university and I thought I'd create a little list of hacks, tips, dos and don'ts. Whether you're a fresher or a university regular; I think everyone will be able to relate to or gain something from this post.

1. First and foremost, the number one rule is to have fun. There's no point in struggling through everything and drowning yourself in work 24/7. Of course it's essential to keep up with completing your degree; but it's definitely okay to let loose every now and then - especially during freshers/refreshers! It's a fab opportunity to make new friends, meet up with old friends and enjoy yourself. If you're not the drinking type, that's also fine. There are plenty of activities and socials that you can attend (hint: find out more about them at your uni's freshers fair) that don't include drinking! Always remember to stay safe, though. Always carry your flat/house key and ensure you have enough money for a taxi home, or someone to walk home with.

2. Learn how to budget. Most of you will have student loans paid to you in three bulks. Make sure you assess your monthly spending and save money for essentials (food, toiletries, travel etc.). Try making a budget chart, either on your phone or on paper. Write down your spend allowances and then spend accordingly. Personally, I think it's essential to get a part-time job at uni. I've worked up to three part-time jobs at any one time and I think it's totally manageable if you do it right. Extra income can ease the pressure of having to scrimp and save towards the end of your loan installments.

3. Be punctual. From personal experience, there's nothing more annoying than when I've actually made the effort to turn up to an important lecture and someone walks in incredibly late and disrupts everyone. Don't be that person. Set alarms, use the calendar on your phone to keep track of when you've got to be somewhere. Waiting around on people is annoying, it looks unprofessional and immature. As you can tell, bad punctuality is my pet peeve.

4. Get organised. This one ties in with the budgeting and time management. Organise your lecture notes, your hand-in dates, your shifts, your lectures. It'll make your life 100x easier and it'll save you lots of time in the long run. You'll know exactly where everything is and when exactly you've got to get thing done by. I have an iPhone and I find the "Reminders" and "Calendar" features to be particularly useful for everyday life.

5. This next one is something I struggled with for years in silence; all because I was too proud to seek help. Life can get on top of you sometimes and you might find it difficult to breathe or take a minute to slow down. It's vital to take care of your mental health and put your mind first. If you speak to counselors at your university, you can usually be granted extensions on work/offered help accordingly. Since seeking help myself, I've been able to learn how to control my mental health and I've felt a lot better about tackling every day life.

6. Similar to the point above, it's also very important to take care of your physical health. Sometimes stress can be a cause of physical injury. The two go very hand-in-hand, I think. It's important not to overwork physical injuries, too. If you need time off work and/or university, talk to the relevant people - trust me, they'll be able to help you out.

7. Seek help if you need it. For years I was the kind of person that didn't want anyone's help and I wanted to accomplish everything by myself. I even rejected help from my friends, family and boyfriend. I ran my self down into an unhealthy state physically and mentally. It was when I hit what I thought to be my rock bottom that I sought professional help and I can safely say that it's partly turned my life around. I'm still not 100% (nobody ever is), but I'm grateful that I swallowed my pride and reached out. Don't ever be scared or feel silly; no matter how "small" your problems may seem, they're problems nonetheless and they need to be dealt with and talked out.

So that's it! I hope this post helps. I hope you all have a lovely academic year at uni and let me know if you have any other tips and tricks to add to the list xo

One last thing: If you're heading to or back to university and you haven't renewed your UNiDAYS profile, you can do it here. If you don't know about UNiDAYS: It's a student organisation offering up to 50% discount on high street and high ends brands, grocery shops and much, much more. It's completely free to sign up and there are no payments once you have signed up! Once you've signed up, you'll have a student ID which you can use online and in stores. It offers more discount than NUS! So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

What I'm wearing:
Sunglasses - Primark (£3) [no link because Primark items aren't available online]
Shirt (mens) - Vulgar Sheffield [currently sold out online]
Choker - Primark (£2) [no link because Primark items aren't available online]
Similar choker - ASOS (£5)
Similar sunglasses - ASOS (£18)

*This post is not sponsored, however, items shown in photographs were gifted to me via PR and promotional work.

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