Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Blog Everyday in May Tag: Piece of Advice

#8: a piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all
 I wanted to give some practical advice, and seeing as I've just finished university and I'm feeling all reflective, my advice is based on what I've learned whilst being a student and what I would recommend any other students do, based on my experience.

So I know I haven't had the 'typical' student experience. When I was younger and moved to London I lived in a massive shared house, but it was completely different to what it would be like living in halls and student houses as I was sharing with a mixture of mature students and working people. One of my good friends lived in halls though and through observation I did learn a fair few things.. (some are kind of common sense, but I'll mention them anyway!)

1. Clean up after yourself: I would say this is probably the number one reason for conflict, so try to at least keep the communal areas clean after you've used them. Your own room can be in any state you want it to be, but you should chip in with cleaning the rooms that everyone uses.

2. Do not date your housemate: I know sometimes this could work out, but in most cases it's probably not the best idea. Could you really watch him date other people if you split up? It would be very hard to avoid seeing. I wouldn't recommend arranging to live in a student house with a new boyfriend either for the same reason, and also when you're a student and don't have a lot of money, moving out might not be an option should things take a turn for the worse.

This sounds really obvious but the reason you came to university was to get a degree. And to get that degree you kinda need to go to your lessons and lectures! You could probably pass without hardly ever setting foot in the place but what's the point in paying all that money to do a half-hearted job? Getting to know your lecturers is very beneficial, you want to feel like you can ask them questions if you get stuck or to be able to talk to them about personal issues which may affect your studies. When I first got pregnant and was very ill, my teachers were so helpful and gave me any work that I missed if I had to stay at home that day. That wouldn't have happened if I didn't make the effort to come in whenever I could and establish some sort of rapport with them.
Start your assignments as soon as you know about them. I really don't work well under pressure so I lived by this rule, and it is definitely the least stressful approach! This way you only have to do a little bit each day, instead of frantically pulling all-nighters at the library. Know where you work best at, for some it's at home (like me), and for others it's the library. Don't work somewhere where you know you're going to be easily distracted.

Lastly, student loans is not free money! I know when you're 18 and you suddenly have 3 grand in the bank it's quite hard not to get excited, it's probably the most money you've ever seen in your life up until that point. But do remember that this money has to last you around three months and pay for boring things like rent, bills, etc. I worked out that you get your loan approx. every 15 weeks, so I just divided the amount that I got by 15 and that was my weekly budget on top of whatever wages I was also bringing in. If you find that you're struggling with the amount you've been given, find a job. You should have a careers service at university that will help.

Try not to get into your overdraft, once you're in an overdraft you'll find that it's very hard to get back out, especially if you've been given £2,000! Try to think of it as your emergency fund rather than spare cash to go out with (hard I know). If you succumb to temptation pretty easily, get the lowest overdraft on offer so you have enough to cover emergencies but don't have hundreds or thousands of pounds sitting there tempting you to spend!

University is definitely going to be one of the best times of your life and it should (and will) be fun, but you've got to have your sensible hat on and think ahead a little! Hope these tips helped someone!

No comments:

Post a Comment