Moving away for university is a difficult time. Potentially for the first time, you won’t have your family nearby to help you out. Sure, we all want to be independent, but it can be overwhelming when it’s handed to you all at once. In fact, the chances are, the first few weeks of your independent living will be fuelled by the three ‘p’s: pizza, pasta, and Pot Noodles.
With Freshers’ Week events all evening and sleeping through the day, it can be easy to forget why you moved away in the first place: an education!
Balancing this and your new home life can be tough. Take a look at Ford Servicing supplier Looker’s student survival guide to find out how to ace it!
Keeping on top of your washing
We all tell ourselves no one will notice if we wear the same shirt three days in a row. We all know this is a complete lie and everyone notices. It’s rubbish, no one likes doing the washing but the longer you leave it, the worse it gets. Every time you take something from your drawer, adjust your habits so once you get changed, you put the dirty clothes into the wash basket. Red and white aren’t an advisable combination, unless you’re using colour catchers. Likewise, if you don’t know how to use the washing machine, guessing can be a rash decision. If the instruction manual isn’t close by, call upon your good old friend, Google.
Mastering the kitchen
As much as we love them, pizza, pasta, and Pot Noodles aren’t exactly brain food. Cooking on a meal by meal basis can often prove expensive and similarly wasteful. Meal planning is essential if you are to save both time and money. A packet of mince, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a few different vegetables and some spaghetti can be bought for £3, providing enough food for four meals. Freezing food is something you probably never did before, but at university it becomes an absolute lifesaver. Did you know you can freeze milk to prevent it from going off?
Nearly every university has some sort of gym. It may seem like a lot of money, especially when you’re scraping pennies together to buy a pint, however it’s a worthwhile investment. Studies have shown that most students put on somewhere between one and two stone in the first year of university. The weight gain usually has been found to have links to drinking, stress, and an unhealthy diet. Alongside indoor gym facilities, university sports teams offer a great way of maintaining a level of fitness. The wide range of clubs means you’re almost guaranteed to find something you like. It’s not just football, hockey and rugby anymore!
Chances are, the university campus won’t be on your doorstep. Most inner-city campuses tend to be okay in this regard, however if you’re living or studying on the outskirts, taking a car with you might be the more economical option. The Renault Clio has established itself as a fan favourite amongst the student population, thanks to its low insurance costs and its positive relationship with parking.
Wandering out of your comfort zone
For most people, enjoying student life means getting involved. Put yourself out there, as Snow Patrol once sang, ‘This is your life, this is your time.’ Sign up for clubs, go along on course nights out and most importantly, try with your flat mates. It can be incredibly scary moving in with new people for the first time, but remember, they are in the exact same boat as you. Obviously if you aren’t enjoying yourself then don’t hide it, and certainly speak to someone. Again, universities provide free counselling for students, but don’t give up until you’ve given it your best shot — nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Money is on every student’s mind. Perhaps the hardest thing about the whole experience is budgeting. Just like cleaning and washing, no one enjoys doing it, but it is a necessity. The congratulations cards you receive, or the twenty pounds your grandparent stuffed in your back pocket before you left won’t last forever. Find out the different things you can do for free in your city, plan your trips home well in advance and don’t constantly buy takeaways. As much as salted chili chicken or a Texas BBQ pizza may be your favourite hangover cure, think of how many meals you could’ve made for the same price.
Your time will fly by at university. Make the most of it and by following our simple plan you might be able to make things a whole lot easier.