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5 things I wish I had known before university

* If you don’t eat fruit and vegetables you will not feel or work your best  

For the first couple months of uni I tried to eat as cheaply as I could, rice, bread and baked beans. This not only leaves you a little bit tired all the time but totally messes up your immune system, I had a cold for about three weeks. It costs a little more, but you can put mushrooms in just about anything and have a banana for brekkie, and your body will thank you.  

* The student stereotype isn’t necessarily going to be you  

The things I was really excited about were having my own basil plants and my freedom. It’s okay to dive headfirst into the freshers experience, but it’s also okay to enjoy sleeping more than drinking. Freshers isn’t just about drinking, it’s meeting your course mates too, and exploring the city. There are societies for all type of things, where you’ll find people with similar interests.  

* Housemate tensions are better avoided  

Don’t be the one leaving all their washing up for days, stomping around at 4am or eating the last of other people’s food, as you’re going to be there for the best part of a year and you don’t want everyone always a little annoyed at you. And if someone is doing these things, talk to them rather than decide they’re a pain, if you come straight from school to uni you’re pretty young and it’s a bit change. Also about second year housing, there will be places still available even if you leave it till summer, and it’s worth waiting a while to make sure the people you think you wanna live with are right, as you don’t wanna find out they’re really tricky too late and already have another year planned!  

* Start work as soon as you’re given it, and use Grammarly  

The hardest part is the first sentence, or the vague plan. If you do this right when you’re set the work this won’t be weighing on your mind all the time, as it’s really easy to carry on from there. Also Grammarly is free and checks the grammar or everything you type and every email you send, and is a total lifesaver. Your lecturers and course leaders will be a great sounding board if you’re not sure about an essay idea, confused about a deadline or worried about something work related. They will have had years of students in the same boat as you, confused and a bit worried, and they can be a lot of help.  

* Try and walk as much as possible  

If you get into the habit of walking everywhere you save so many bus and uber fares. Fresh air fixes your delicate head after a night out too, and there’s so much to look at in a new city. In fist year you’re likely to have a lot of time on your hands, and it’s so easy to start getting buses and get lazy when you don’t have much better things to be doing than a walk. 

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Ellie Saunders • 30th July 2020


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