So, university can be very daunting. You’re moving away from home to somewhere where you don’t know anyone, you have to live with people you don’t know and learn how to be a ‘proper’ adult. So using my own experience, I’m going to give you some tips on how to survive university whether you’re starting this year, or planning to go in the future.
Before we start I thought I’d tell you a bit about me. I attend Blackpool university (yes, Blackpool has a uni! Shocking right?) It’s actually called Blackpool and the Fylde College. I am studying a BA honours degree in acting and I’ve just finished my 2nd year which means I have one year left. I live in a student house with 7 people (my uni doesn’t have halls of residence). But most of them are going elsewhere for 3rd year which means I will have a whole new set of housemate’s… ahhh!
On that note I will start with getting to know your Housemates:
Now, I am an extremely shy and very awkward person when it comes to people I don’t know. So meeting the people you’re going to be living with can be scary. But they will feel exactly the same! Just try and get to know them. Ask them where they’re from, what subject they’re studying. If they’re doing the same as you then that’s even better! So don’t be too nervous and just break the ice, it will make things a lot less awkward! And believe me, when you’re all comfortable, it can be a very fun experience!
Keeping in touch with home:
Living away from home can be very difficult. I struggled a lot at first. Which is why it is very important to keep in touch with your family and friends. FaceTime, phone calls and even text messages. Speak to them as often as you like, whatever makes you feel better. If you’re feeling homesick, call them. Remember it’s a big change for them as well and they will be missing you as much as you’re missing them. But if you’re struggling, don’t panic. It WILL get better, believe me!
People say you’re not at university to make friends, but I believe that having friends is so important. If you’re like me and you’re socially awkward, don’t worry. Don’t force friendships with people, it will happen. Now I have had problems, fallen out with people I thought were my friends. You need to figure out who your real friends are. But now at the end of my 2nd year I have 2 close friends that I wouldn’t change for the world. We do so much together and I’m proud to call them my best friends.
I’ll try keep this one short. Been there, done that. I was with someone in my class for most of 1st year and some of 2nd year, things didn’t work. I was completely heartbroken, especially when he got with someone else in the same class. Months later and it’s all fine and we’re actually good friends. I don’t regret my relationship, but all I’ll say is be very careful. Seeing them everyday after the breakup is painful.
As I’ve said many times, I’m an awkward person. But sometimes you just have to socialise with people, you may be surprised and actually enjoy it! I’m not really a party animal, I’ve done nights out and got wasted and stuff. But now even if I go to a party I don’t really get drunk, can’t be arsed with the hangover😂 You don’t need to drink to have fun, even if you’re not keen on going to a party or social event, try make the effort. It’s also how you make friends🤷♀️ But if you really don’t want too then don’t, nobody is forcing you😂
Don’t leave things till last minute:
Quite hypocritical coming from me. Leaving your uni work until the very last minute is very stressful, trust me. Do it ASAP and you’ll have an easier life.
Make your room comfortable:
Another way to make it feel like home. Photographs are definitely something you should do. Stylise your room to make yourself feel more comfortable like you’re at home. I have photos attached to a LED clips on my wall, it cost £6 from Primark!
Another one I’m hypocritical for saying. Uni life can be expensive. Calculate your weekly budget with you student loan and your job if you have one. Rent, food, extras etc. Give yourself a spend limit for each week and see what you have spare.
So clichè but so true. Never try to be someone else to ‘fit in’. Stick to who you are and you’ll be fine.
And I’ll leave it there! Remember, it might be scary but it will be worth it. Good luck!
– Stacey x