Here Is How To Majorly Kick Ass In Your First Year At University

22 September 2015, 14:55 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

Katy Perry last friday
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

Everything you need to know to make sure first year isn't a colossal nightmare.

Moving to University can be hard. By this point, you've read every online student forum, asked all your older friends for advice, and lined up a pretty rad fake ID (Katie Brewer, aged 25, at your service). You make think you're all set for University, but here are a few helpful tips to making sure you don't completely crash and burn during your first year away from home.  

Force yourself to become good with money. 

You may be tempted to spend all your loan/grant money at once/on some shiny new equipment but you're only hurting yourself in the end. Remember, the stacks of cash you spend in week one have to come from somewhere. No one wants to be that guy with a shiny new mac who spends the last weeks of the semester poor and starving to death. Your grandma didn't send you to University to become malnourished. (Shoutout to grandmas who are always calling to check if you're eating right.) 


You can subscribe to things like the Studentbeans Newsletter (discounts galore)
Budget using apps like Goodbudget
Learning to cook will save you SO much money in the long run. 


Don't sleep with the people in your residence hall after the first night. 

I'm not saying NEVER sleep with them. And, God knows, I'm not going to stop you. All I'm saying is that it takes more than two Bacardi Breezers and a story about how someone "won the state water polo championships" for their high school to make them a suitable candidate for sex. For instance, you don't even know if you have classes with them (that could become a problem down the line). Are they a serial killer? They might like Mac Miller unironically (which is basically the same thing as being a serial killer). You also want to avoid tension between a bunch of strangers who have just met. Better let this one simmer. 


Much of your required reading material can be found online or for free.

You can download course material here.
Buy used textbooks here.
Make sure you're taking advantage of Google Books for whole excerpts.
And, of course, Amazon is awesome.

You don't need to spend extortionate amounts of money on your textbooks. Lots of places have the source material online and available for download. Another cool method of finding information is through TED talks. They're amazing for writing essays when you have no experience on the topic and can be downloaded within a handy TED app. 


Take care of your life admin stuff right away. 

Get your student banking sorted + have your bank statements sent to your term-time address.
Update your address information so you can easily vote away from home. 
Inform your family of your new address.
Switch over your Amazon delivery address to your dorm room.   



Drink responsibly. 
Don't think a four pack of Smirnoff Ice will get you drunk. 
Tequila is never/always a bad idea. 
Don't make phone calls (especially to your parents or exes) while drunk. 


Take mental health days as needed.

A lot of people will tell you that you need to show up to every lecture, every study group, and every workshop. That is categorically untrue. First year burn out is a real thing, folks. Make sure you stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep, listen to your Drake records early and often, and really become your best self. 


Join a club/society. 

You didn't just leave home to go to class every day. Some of the most useful and important connections you make can be formed in a club or society, Love acting? Join a thespians club. Love dance? Your campus probably has dance crews of all skill levels. Turn the thing you love doing into a way to make friends and learn more about your hobbies. University doesn't have to be all about crippling debt and malnutrition. 


And for those lonely Saturday nights in....

15 TED Talks that will change your life
33 of the best shows to binge watch
Meryl Streep's 10 best films
This playlist for staying home alone
A copy of the Communist Manifesto for when you inevitably become a socialist. 

Now, fly away kids. Go forth and conquer student life. 

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