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5 things I wish I knew before university

Learn from me and don’t overpack!!  

Prior to moving to university, I created a huge excel spreadsheet and watched plenty of YouTube videos of what to bring to university and although this is very organised. I found that I could have saved myself a lot of time unpacking and money by waiting till I got to university to buy some things. I discovered a store called TJ Hughes upon arrival in Eastbourne which sold a tonne of university supplies for really affordable prices. So trust me sometimes it’s best to wait!  

If you don’t join a university sports team there’s the option to join a local sports club 

After numerous trials, I found that the university netball team didn’t suit me personally and I couldn’t manage the amount of training with my workload. A friend invited me to her local netball club and I was surprised to find other students part of different teams around Eastbourne which is super fun. It’s also not too pricey and allows you to make friends in your town who aren’t students. 

Work, work, work before university!  

By working and saving a lot of money before starting university, I would say you are putting yourself in a great position financially as uni can be expensive. It will also allow you to eat out with friends or order a takeaway without feeling guilty about finances. However, the university is really supportive if you find yourself in hardships. My best advice in terms of managing money is to budget each time your loan comes in so you can set aside your food and rent money, then set aside money for expenses such as a gym membership or trips out and always have a contingency in case things go a bit dry. 

You meet a lot of people and some people you meet in the first week may not be your friends at the end of the year 

I met loads of people during freshers, some who are still my best friends now and some who I didn’t talk to again. It can be daunting; however, everyone is on the same boat as you. So, put yourself and strike a conversation with someone. You could ask them what course they are studying and next thing you know may have found your best friend. A smile goes a long way for sure. 

The independence I gained is astronomical 

This is the biggest thing for me, which I love about university. You are in control of whether you want to go on a stroll at 6am to catch the sunrise at the pier (so worth it!) or pull an all-nighter to submit an assignment last minute. Use it wisely! 

 

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Grace Ogunlola • 17th July 2020


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