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Sunday, 27 September 2015

10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Starting University - Tips For Starting University

Hello! So a little bit of a different post from me today and a few things I wanted to talk about to you as the new university season is upon us. Yikes. That came around quick. For those of you starting university, it's a crazy, big step. I don't want to scare you because it's not just scary, it's exciting, exhilarating and you'll change as a person. It's amazing, you should be so proud if you got into university (but equally if you didn't, who cares, it's not for everyone!). Most of you will be leaving home for the first time (unless you did a gap year) so I just wanted to give you a few little words of wisdom (or things I wish someone told me before I started university). Let's go...

1. Socialise - First and foremost - Socialise! I'm pretty sure your parents won't be saying this to you (they'll be telling you to study hard, read number 2 for that) but when I started university I had a boyfriend from back home so I was quite reserved. In all honesty, that did hold me back a little. I went out a lot and had fun but I stuck to the people in my accommodation. If you read my posts last year about starting university you'll know that I said I didn't have a very good experience in my university halls, I stupidly chose really nice fancy ones so ended up on a pretty rubbish floor with people who I just didn't bond with that well. It was basically me, one girl and loads of guys. Eventually things moved around and towards the end of my final year I made some nice friends but it was hard work. I expected friends to come easily as I've always been really sociable but I felt so lonely. Looking back I wish I joined societies and got involved in extra curricular stuff. I'd go to my lectures and not speak to anyone on my course. Don't do that - speak to people! So that's my first piece of advice, speak to people! University is amazing because there are so many people there and every single one has a different story to tell.

2. Work Hard -  Lucky for you, it's cool to be a geek at university. I look up to people who are getting firsts in assignments and in my friendship group anyway, it's not really cool if you're failing due to missing lectures and just not putting the work in. I find intelligence so sexy. It's such a good characteristic. The workload is difficult, but first year is pretty relaxed and it's a great way to get into the university lifestyle (or was for me anyway), in second year it gets harder. Be prepared. I'm not saying it'll be easy, but it'll be worth it.

3. Learn The Balance - This takes me onto number 3. Learning to balance. Whilst you're at university to get a degree, you're also there to grow, learn, have fun, meet people. Learn how to balance things, do your essays and then go out for a drink with the girls!

4. Napping Is Compulsory - I haven't napped for a long time but in my first year of university, I couldn't go a day without napping. I was exhausted, every single day. I did run myself into the ground with blogging, pushing to get a first in my degree and trying to have a social life too - so naps are needed. Pre-night out naps are the best too. Your body needs sleep so let it sleep! I prefer to call them horizontal life pauses...

5. Choose The Right Course -  So many of my friends changed courses half way through their degrees - if you get to uni and decide you hate your course, there are things you can do and people you can speak to! I personally don't think my course was really for me but it's difficult to know what you want to do aged 17 when they ask you at school! Don't panic if you change your mind, it's not the end of the world and there is always someone willing to help.

6. University Can Be So Helpful - I realised in my second year just how amazing the university community is. I had so much help from my university, they helped me with personal problems, emotional problems, family problems, study problems - you name it. There's always someone you can talk to. Don't let go that to waste and don't suffer in silence. Not ever!

7. Not To Put Too Much Pressure On Myself - As soon as I stopped putting pressure on myself to 'meet friends for life at uni' I actually met friends for life. Everyone says 'oh you meet your soul mate at university, oh university is where you'll meet friends for life' and for me, it took me until my third year for this to happen plus I had to move to Canada for a while in order to feel fulfilled. As much as  loved University in the UK, my first year got me off to a really bad start social-wise which is one of the reasons I moved to Canada, I wanted to feel a little bit more fulfilled and I wanted to actually meet people. I guess university is just so crazy, you move away from home, you start with no friends, you're put in a random apartment with strangers, you have to cook, clean, it's all crazy and it takes a while to settle down but enjoy the ride because it's worth it!

8. Don't Turn Down Any Opportunities - Exactly what it says on the tin. Don't turn down anything that comes your way. You're most likely paying £9000 a year fees so make sure you get your moneys worth.

9. Living On Noodles And Pasta Every Day Is Not Good For You - My diet in first year consisted of noodles, pasta and chocolate. I'm so glad that I got back into a good gym routine in my 3rd year! It took a while but everyone is so sporty at uni so it's a great way to motivate yourself to get fit. Whilst noodles and pasta are easy and quick, lack of sleep, late nights studying = your body needs good nutrients so fuel it well otherwise you'll end up bed ridden for a month like I was due to exhaustion!

10. It Will Fly By So Make The Most Of It -  Finally, three years sounds like a long time but trust me, it isn't. It will fly by and soon, you'll be in the big bad world. Enjoy it. Learn from it, grow and get the most out of it.

Are you starting university? Did you go to university? Do you have any tips for people starting university? Do you agree with any of my tips?

Lots of love, Em x

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