The Real Guide: How to Survive University

Hey guys! This post comes at a time of the year when those in University finish up for the year and this year for me was my final year in my degree and now I’m counting down the days for graduation. I thought it would be helpful for those starting Uni this year or still doing their degree, to share some tips and things that I have learnt along the 3 years.

Learn How to Budget

I can’t emphasise enough how important budgeting is! I remember one of the first weeks during my first year, I had £1.90 in my account, no job and I was too lazy during summer to set up a Student Bank Account with an overdraft limit. I wish I could say that 3 years later I am now a master of budgeting, that I am most defiantly not! However, I have learnt that putting aside at least £100 a month from my pay helps a lot in saving. Also being brutal in deciding if going out for dinner nearly every night is a good idea or purchasing that gorgeous bodysuit from Missguided is essential; waiting for their student sales is probably the smarter option. Make use of your student discount, you will miss this when your account expires believe me! In terms of buying food, have a peep into stores in the evening a lot of places cut down on their prices before they close, even in supermarkets they have an area for discounted food that are still good to consume.

Know When your Deadlines are

Uni is such an exciting time, new friends, being out all the time (getting drunk) and it’s all fun and games until you realise that you have coursework due in 3pm the next day and you’ve got less than 12 hours to complete a 2,000 word essay. Don’t be that girl! Know when your deadlines are find a balance between going out at student club nights, relaxing and actually being productive in your work. Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to study and you only have the motivation to stay in bed, but when you push on to do work you’ll feel so much better in the long run.

Learn How to Cook

Instant noodles everyday is not a good idea and ordering in food everyday is only a possibility if you have and endless supply of riches. During my first year I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the stove for the longest time and until I asked for help I was taking food from home back with me in containers and only cooking food in the oven. Everyone knows that student’s best friends in the kitchen are pasta and microwave rice. Attempting to do something different with your meals, planning them in advance will make things more interesting and your grocery shopping so much easier. By planning out your meals weekly, you can avoid falling into the trap of eating unhealthy food and taking out all your hangry emotions on delivery drivers on a daily basis.

Be Careful with your Possessions in Student Accommodation

Living with other people that you don’t previously know can be really daunting especially if you have to share a kitchen, bathroom and living space with them. On the other hand it can also be a great opportunity to create some lasting friendships, living with my friends from my course for a year we grew so close from being with each other all the time.  For my third year of university I shared a kitchen with 2 other people that I didn’t know and a month after I moved in I noticed my food magically disappearing, empty packets being left in my cupboards and the fridge being left open ruining the food inside. People eating your food and lying to your face about it isn’t what you signed up for and don’t live with it. After confronting them nothing changed and luckily I was able to move rooms once I officially complained.

Learn how to Reference

Ugh I hate referencing with a deep passion! However you need to learn how to do it right, you don’t want your work to be flagged up for plagiarism. Even finding a website to cite and referenced your work for you isn’t hard work, it doesn’t take long. Better to spend a little time to take care of the details is better than getting into trouble.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Like anything in life we tend to have a predisposition to compare ourselves to other people, University is no different. We look at what other people are doing, what grades they are achieving and compare what we have achieved to them. I’ve fallen into this low mood so many times after failing to achieve as high grades as the people around me and honestly feeling as though I have failed myself. This is such an unhealthy feeling, you have to just do your best in everything that you do and knowing that you have tried your hardest, other people’s efforts and results do not matter.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

University can bring about a lot of anxiety and stress, I know I’ve most definitely felt it. Take time away from work and everything and just focus on you and what makes you happy. Make sure to make use the services that the university provides, whether its one on one sessions to talk and deal with your stress or events or group talks. Check out my previous blog post where I talked about how I dealt with my university stress – Tips to Help with University Stress.


Good luck to anyone starting or continuing university in September!

Thank you for reading!


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