Read on to avoid making the mistakes that I made!

  1. Settling in takes time

Even though I knew this already, it didn’t stop me from worrying about finding my friends in the first few weeks. My biggest tip would be to get yourself out there to meet like-minded people. I was very fortunate to meet some of my closest friends now during Freshers’ Week since I participated in the activities and taster sessions (I go into more detail about Freshers in this blog post).

  1. Freshers' flu is real

I was massively underprepared on this front, so take it from me – bring paracetamol, cough sweets, warm clothes etc because when you’re coughing away in the lectures, you don’t want to be caught out without your Strepsils or Lemsip! Lemon honey water will suddenly become your best friend.

It’s just the nature of uni that you’re in close proximity with so many new people (and germs) and the flu is therefore unavoidable. Just make sure you’re loading up on all your nutrients to avoid being ill for too long.

  1. You will overpack

Usually, I would consider myself a light packer but when it came to uni, boy, did I bring too much. So leave those shorts at home – let’s be honest, you won’t need them till March – and only bring the things you need a semester at a time. Of course, bring one or two out-of-season items but don’t go applying this rule to your entire wardrobe!

  1. Don’t buy books straight away

In this age of technology, most things are online. And that includes your textbooks and most articles you’ll need for further reading. The Library here at Bath uni has a massive online collection and I barely need to even venture in and borrow a physical book.

Hold off your parents who are nagging you to buy every book on the recommended reading list because you’ll be saving your money in the long run!

  1. Plan your budget

It’s probably one of the best feelings when your student loan drops and your bank account now seems like an unlimited pool of cash BUT WAIT. Money doesn’t last forever and so budgeting is crucial if you want to make it through your time at uni (which I’m sure you do).

I use Wallet to track my finances (there are an app and web version) and I evaluate my spending every month.

  1. You don’t need to fit into the student stereotype

If you’re anything like me, you value a good night in with a hot chocolate over partying 24/7 (though I do enjoy a night out once in a while). The amazing thing about uni is that everyone respects your decisions; at the end of the day, it’s your life and no one should pressure you to do things you don’t want to!

  1. Enjoy the moment!

Now that I’m at the end of my first year, I can definitely say that the year has flown. Even though I took every opportunity to be spontaneous and to make deep connections with people, there still is not enough time! My advice would be to enjoy every moment as it comes and don’t stress about your deadlines so much!

Until next time,

Joelle 😊

Posted in: Budgeting & Finance, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, First year, Undergraduate

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  • Thank you. I agree with you. I also faced Freshers flu.

  • Hi! Just finished reading your post and it sooo much reminds me about my first year in university. Thanks for this interesting post 🙂

    • Hi Amy! I'm glad that you enjoyed reading! Joelle 🙂

  • Great tips! Particularly like your section about how it will take a while to settle in. The expectation that students will settle in straight away is just unrealistic and it's great that you acknowledge the reality. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for your comment Francesca! I'm happy you found it useful!