The Do’s and Dont’s of First Year

Going to university for the first time can be both daunting and exciting. Here are some tips on to help you with the best year of university.

DO work those connections. University will open you up to a new world of connections that can be vital your future career. So get to know your lecturers, tutors, faculty staff, flatmates and classmates as you’ll never know who might help you out in the future.

DON’T be that flatmate. You know the flatmate that leaves enough hair in the shower to make a wig? The one with the mouldy dishes forming its own ecosystem in the kitchen? Yup, that one.

DO join a society or club. It’s a great start to meeting other freshers students and getting stuck into university life. Most unis have hundreds of societies and clubs to choose from. There’s sports clubs, political interest groups, clubs dedicated to cocktail making, music, dance groups, languages, quidditch…you name it! Universities like Imperial College even have a society dedicated to just cheese, so the possibilities are endless.

DON’T do all nighters all the time. Inevitably, you’ll be in the library at some point finishing a paper at 4am. But after the third or fourth time, you might have to figure out a new schedule for getting work done. Sleep deprivation sucks.  

DO learn how to cook. What better time to hone you culinary skills than at uni? There are plenty of online resources like BBC Good Food that offer delicious recipes that are quick to make, easy to cook and won’t hurt your pocket. If you haven’t got the money for groceries or don’t want to buy more ingredients, Supercook gives you hundreds of recipes based on what’s already in your kitchen. IKEA also do a great range of sustainable and affordable kitchenware to cook your new recipes in.

DON’T spend it all too fast. Having your own money is exciting, but be careful not to spend your student loan all in one go. A little bit of budgeting goes a long way.

DO sort out your study schedule. When Freshers Week ends and classes start, things can get busy pretty fast. Apps like MyStudyLife are amazing at keeping you organised, with features like paper planners, rotation schedules, reminders and task settings. Also it’s free. There are also plenty of other apps to improve your productivity which are life savers.

DON’T think you need to have it all figured out. If your career doesn’t match your field of study after graduation, don’t worry. Around 96 percent of UK graduates switch careers by age 24. It’s natural for your career goals to change as you get older, so don’t think you need to have a ten year career plan figured out in your first year. But that’s awesome if you do.

DO consider an internship. An internship can offer you the work experience you need before graduating. Not only will you gain some valuable skills that you can transfer to your next role, you’ll also get a taste of what kind of career you want in the future.

DON’T go overboard with drinks. It’s fun to enjoy drinks with friends, but always drink responsibly.

DO try dating. It’s likely that you might date one or some of the many people you’ll meet during your three of study. That doesn’t always mean you’ll end up together long term, but dating can teach you a lot about yourself and relationships.

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