Look after your well-being
Going to university is, at first, a stressful experience - there is so much to learn and to get used to, it's often hard to know where to begin. This page is here to help calm your nerves by giving you some guidance and top survival tips that we picked up whilst at uni.
Help! I don’t know how to cook healthy meals
Going to university is a milestone in itself. Cooking is often the hardest transition that students have to deal with when they begin first year. Cooking isn’t really that difficult if you have a few vital items and it will become much easier as you go along.
Buy a ‘student’, ‘one-pot meals’ or ‘quick and easy’ cookbook. These are full of handy tips to give your cooking some flavour; the meals are varied, balanced and quick to make. If you find you make a new group of close friends, then why not take it in turns to cook? Not only will it be cheaper, but cooking for a group is easier than cooking for just one and you won’t be tempted to eat pizza everyday by yourself.
Help! I’m getting low on money
It is really important to budget your finances during university. Try to limit going into your overdraft by cutting back on any unnecessary spending. If you like to go out a lot, limit this to once a week - you’ll be surprised how much money is spent on a single night out. If you like to eat takeaways, try to buy takeaway meal deals from the supermarket - some taste the same and are a fraction of the price. Write a shopping list and only buy what you need, look out for supermarket money saving deals, maybe switch to own brand rather than branded products.
Taking out an additional loan or a student credit card may not be the wisest option as they tempt you to spend and then you’re back where you started! You need to think rationally when it comes to your money. Consider talking to your parents and letting them know the situation to see what they can do to help.
Help! I don’t know which club/society to join?
University is the perfect place to experiment and find out what your interests really are. There are hundreds of sports clubs and societies that you can join. Most sports clubs offer beginners classes/sessions so even if you are a complete novice then you can still go along and give something new a go. In Freshers’ week, societies and clubs offer free taster sessions so you can get a feel for all kinds of new sports.
If there isn’t a club or society that shares the same interest as you, then why not set one up? There are societies for all sorts of things so go speak to your SU about something you want to do.
Help! I feel lonely
Spending the first night at university by yourself and not really knowing anyone can feel like you’ve been abandoned, forgotten and very lonely. Within a few weeks though, you’ll be looking back on that first night and laughing; now you’ve got lots of new friends, a great social life, you’re loving the lectures, know your way around and wish your mum or nan wouldn’t call you every other day!
If, on the other hand, a few weeks have passed and you are still struggling to adapt, then this could be due to feeling homesick. Everyone will get homesick at some point and show it in different ways.
To overcome feeling homesick, the best thing to do is to just call your family or best friend and have a good chat - getting things off your chest can do wonders and hearing what someone else has to say can make the bad things not seem so bad after all. Maybe take a trip home for the weekend and enjoy some of your mum’s home baking or see the family - when you come back to university it’ll be a fresh, new week and having had such a great weekend at home might very well put you in a new frame of mind. Immerse yourself into university life; join a society or a sports team, go to lectures and chat to those around you. Once you make some new friends, have places to go to and things to talk about, you won’t be feeling homesick as much.