So you’re about to depart the comfy confines of your mother’s house (with the never empty fridge and the Laundry Fairy that cleans your clothes for you) to fend for yourself in the strange world of university life. Here are my words of wisdom for those of you embarking on this historic journey:
1. Be Social. Do you want to have no friends? Do you want to spend all your free time sitting in your room by yourself staring at a wall? I’m hoping the answer is no – so get out and meet people. Sure, you’re bound to meet some people you never want to hang out with again (always make sure you have a tenner and number for a local registered cab firm in case you want to make an early exit). But you’re also bound to meet some friends for life – shout out to my uni homegirls!
2. Get used to answering the following questions: name, home town, course, halls. The proactive among you may want to get this printed on a business card to avoid having to repeat it a hundred times a day.
3. Find other people who love Jesus. When university life tests your faith and your boundaries it’s good to have other people facing the same pressures alongside you. Your Christian Union will most likely have a few events during freshers week – so go to them. University is often a make or break point for many. Find your CU here.
4. Find a church. So important I should have put it first. The first few weeks of term churches quite often put on a student lunch – meet with other Christians and free food - ForTheWin!
5. Get to know the people you live with.
6. Work out a budget and stick to it. No-one wants to eat nothing but beans and toast for the last few weeks of term because you bought a new pair of boots or a couple of computer games when your loan came it. Check out this articlefor some budgeting advice.
7. Be generous – share without expecting anything in return.
8. Join a few random clubs and societies. They often have free trials the first week. Pick a couple of things you’re interested in and something random that you’ve always wanted to try but never have. Join the first week is often free so take the opportunity to try out something different.
9. Decorate your room. At least stick a couple of posters up. Makes it much more homely and less clinical.
10. Eat properly. Laziness is not an excuse for eating pasta and pizza everyday. Add a few vegetables to your meals. Eat some fruit. You’ll feel physically better for it. Buy a student cook-book or check here for some easy recipes. Can't decide what to cook? Check this website for help deciding.
11. Contact your parents every once in a while – they want to know if you’re still alive.
12. Study. Believe it or not you are primarily there to study. Don’t fall for the lie that university is all about staying up late, drinking too much, getting up late and missing lectures. You are there to study. Make it a priority.
13. Don't forget that through all the ups and downs of uni life God is with you. He will never leave you.