University Survival

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Benportrait1Lewis and I are now about to start our third year at uni, and I think it is fair to say when it come to freshers we have been there, done that and in my case got numerous T-Shirts from Jesters (anybody going to either University in Southampton will grow to love ‘The Palace of Dreams’). So I thought I’d take 10 minutes out of my busy schedule to write a few things I have picked up throughout my first year at University.

  1. Learn to cook. Start off by learning to cook something simple like spaghetti Bolognaise. It is really easy to do, and once you know how the technique can easily be transferred to almost anything else.
  2. Buy a door stop. Having an open door makes making friends with the people you’re living with much easier.
  3. Try not to be a recluse. I know the temptation is to work all the time (Pffft, no it’s not- Lewis), but it is first year, so it really doesn’t matter. By the end of the year (at least in my case), you will be cruising despite the pressure of exams.
  4. Find the nearest Aldi/Lidl. They reduced my weekly shop by almost half and, despite what people say, the quality is no different to what you get in Sainsbury’s or Tesco.
  5. As I have said in a previous post, take a box set of DVDs with you for freshers, because the days really are dull.
  6. Push yourself to try new stuff throughout the year, it’ll keep you busy and give you a whole range of new experiences.
  7. More of a long term one, try not to go home for the first few weeks. I wanted to. But didn’t because I felt that if I went home, I wouldn’t come back to uni. I am not trying to scare you, it is just my advice, try and stick it out because it does get easier and better.
  8. Put that down you won’t need it. I was an over packer. And I can guarantee that half the stuff you take with you will not ever get used.
  9. Go out every night of freshers. I didn’t last time and regretted it. I intend to make amends this time around.
  10. Be sensible with money. It isn’t hard to live off savings and your maintenance loan, but you can make your life very difficult. I am not saying that you should become a scrooge and not go out to save money, but I am suggesting that you think twice before going on a spending spree. Unless you are loaded, then do whatever you want.
  11. Familiarise yourself with drinking game rules. You will play them… A lot.
  12. Talk to as many people as you can during the first few weeks. By the end of the first year everyone has formed their friendship groups, and if your friends aren’t around it is a bit late in the day to make new friends.
  13. Finally, take a big arse bottle of vodka with you. As a fresher you are almost expected to drink the stuff like water, but avoid the really cheap vodkas, that stuff is like paint stripper.

So that is a few things I have picked up for you to consider. Enjoy yourselves you crazy kids.

-Ben

(Special mention to Will)

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