As a fresher first arriving at university, it can be a mixture of great excitement and pure worry. A lot of students find themselves under more pressure than they expected, and the first exams come round very soon. This causes some students to find themselves doubting how they will make it through their first year. Below are 20 secrets other students recommend how to stick it out.
i. Meet as many people as you can. Introduce yourself, smile and be confident. Everybody is in the same boat.
ii. Be yourself. Your real friends will want to know you, warts and all!
iii. Keep your opinions to yourself until you are confident of whom you can trust.
iv. Take your washing to the laundry, not to your mum. It will give you a sense of independence, and save your mum a lot of work!
v. Make sure that despite everything, you are having a good time,
vi. Join a few societies in the first few weeks. If you aren't sure if it's for you, take a few email addresses or contact details, and get more details later.
vii. Phone home regularly, and let your family know your okay. They are probably worrying more than you are.
viii. Remember that everybody feels a little homesick once in a while. Talk to new friends that you trust, and write or call friends from home to catch up if you think it will help.
ix. Remember that you are only at uni for a few years, and make the most of it. When it's over, you'll miss the freedom and the long holidays.
x. Email friends and family regularly, they'll cheer you up when you're feeling down.
xi. Don't hang around with one small group and ignore everyone else. You'll miss out on the chance of making other good friends as well.
xii. Don't be careless with your cash - it's the little extras that add up and soon drain your bank account.
xiii. Don't let peer pressure turn you into a beer monster, you don't need to drink all the time. If your friends have a problem with you ordering a soft drink, they aren't the type of friends that you need. Soft drinks are often easier on the pocket, as well as being much healthier.
xiv. Save your heavy drinking sessions for the weekend, so that you don't miss anything the next day.
xv. Don't bottle everything up. Talk to somebody, whether they are family, friends or a student help line. Being away from home for the first time can make you feel very lonely and talking about it usually puts everything back into perspective.
xvi. Make sure you cook some nights. Student specials all pile up, and takeaways are a major money drain. Try getting in a few basics and a good cookbook or catering course. It'll be cheaper, much healthier and a lifelong skill.
xvii. When you go out, only take as much as you are willing and able to spend. Having extra money on you will often be spent on booze when you are too drunk to know better.
xviii. A lot of activities cost quite a bit. Look at what's available and pick carefully. Maybe not going to a club one night will mean you can try archery, climbing, sky diving or hockey? Stick to a few activities that you like and will keep up with.
xix. Remember that you are only a fresher once, and next year you'll be a lot better prepared for studying.
xx. Budget!! When you have a big student loan, the easiest thing to do is spend it. Plan ahead so that you don't end up with too much debt. Work out what you have coming in, what has to go out, and what's left. Remember to keep some panic money, there is always some time that you need extra money, whether it's for a necessity like shampoo or toothpaste or a bigger reason.