When people in the UK talk about university life – student life – they often associate it with drunkenness, laziness, too much TV and a huge burden of debt at the end of it all.
When you’re living the student dream, it’s really easy to get caught up in going out most nights and sleeping off your hangovers, eating whatever, whenever, and not doing a whole lot else. Apart from studying occasionally, of course.
Now while all that in moderation is all part and parcel of university life, it’s important and will serve you very well to learn that there’s a lot more to university life.
Discover interesting new activities
When you enrol at university, you’ll be offered lots of opportunities to join a society there. And if the society that you’d be interested in doesn’t exist, then you have the freedom and power start it!
Whether you’re interested in left-wing politics, le cross, juggling, French, acting, street art, yoga, cooking, or anything in between, there’s probably a related society you can join.
And if you haven’t already realised what you’re interested in, take the time to check out what’s available – it could well be the start of something beautiful.
If nothing else comes of it, you’ll meet a new group of like-minded people and maybe even make a few friends along the way.
You’ll also have the opportunity to run for student elections and work with the student newspaper, which will look fantastic on your CV if you’re looking to go into politics, journalism, PR, or other remotely similar areas. It’s all great life experience.
Explore your new city/town
It’s easy to follow the routine of getting up, going to your lectures and seminars, maybe go to the pub and even work a shift for a part-time job, but there’s going to be so much more to where you live than that.
When you go to a new city/town, there are going to be some fantastic and very unique things to see and do there, from gigs to eateries, special events, galleries, and much more. Whatever you do, make sure you:
– Use the Internet and see what there is to do in your city or town;
– Go to your local tourist information office and find out what attractions or places of interest there are around;
– Ask new friends, lecturers, even people in shops and bars what they would recommend – people are usually very friendly and willing to help you out. Don’t be shy!
Make an effort to make friends
This point is a simple one, but make an effort to surround yourself with fun friends. Everyone’s in the same position as you are when they first go to university, and it’s important to remind yourself of that sometimes.
Be a considerate flatmate and a good friend to others, get to know your tutors, and always try to make an effort with whoever you meet – this will serve you well throughout university and life beyond. Friends don’t just happen – you have to make some degree of effort.
Get involved in your student union
Most university student unions are a great place to go, find out about events, make friends and get more heavily involved in how the union itself is run.
And apart from being a good place to socialise and have fun, you’ll have the opportunity to get a job at the student union itself. Student unions are usually much more understanding of the fact that you’ve got a life to live as well as a job to do for them.
So if you’re off to university at some point in the near future, just remember:
– Have fun;
– Make an effort with new friends, workmates and tutors;
– Study regularly;
– And explore what you can do within your university and around your new home.