Wednesday, 9 September 2020

A Third Year's Tips for Starting University

I remember my feelings before starting university so well. I had got in. But what now? I had focused so much of my energy on results day, it had been forgotten that I could actually go to university come October. 

So results day came and went, and I was willing to exhaust every piece of advice I could get my hands on. I asked people, googled relentlessly and watched countless YouTube videos. Basically, I was hungry for anything that could make such a huge transition in my life that little bit easier. 

So here are some tips from somebody approaching their third (and final - eek) year at university. They may seem small but trust me, they come in handy.


Tea Towels... and don't put them all in the kitchen on day one! They will get filthy/lost and you'll be grateful for keeping some clean ones back. 

Slippers... floors are often covered with a sticky concoction of alcohol and things that should be left unidentified, cover those feet.

Shower Container... if you're not one of the lucky ones with an ensuite, purchase a container like this. It will stop you from having to juggle all of your toiletries up the corridor in a towel, and any awkward moments that may arise from that!

Extension Lead... there are never enough plugs in student halls (okay, this is not gospel but friends in other universities have confirmed also). 

Some Personal Items... photos, a few fairy lights, a reed diffuser etc. University rooms can be fairly impersonal places, but a few touches here and there can help it feel like your own. You can see how I decorated my first-year room here. 

Try and... 

Give New Things a Go... join new societies, meet people you haven't before, explore a different part of the city etc. I know the jump to university is daunting, but go all-in and I promise you will get more out of it. 

Share Cooking... This may not work for everyone, but it really helped me. My diet was so poor at the beginning of the year; coming home tired from lectures meant I didn't want to cook and just wanted to crash instead. So, sharing with a friend meant I was responsible for someone else's meals and had to cook something pretty decent. 


Register With the Local GP... you never know what will hit you at uni. You're probably eating worse, drinking more and sleeping less. Register, just in case the lurgy catches up with you and you need a trip! It's always better to be safe than sorry - especially when you're leaving home for the first time. 

Join Facebook/Social Media Groups... we live in a digital age, and a lot of socialising is done via the internet pre/during your term. Joining chats meant I had already spoken to some of my flatmates before arriving, which was a good conversation starter! Facebook was also used to give us information about halls events, which kept me in the loop throughout the year. 

Stick Up For What You Believe In... peer pressure can still be a thing in university, I'm afraid. If there's anything you don't want to do, you don't have to provide a reason for not doing it. The sole fact that you don't want to is more than enough! So stick to your guns - don't want to drink, do drugs, or maybe even just miss a night out because you're exhausted? That's 100% okay. 

Keep your Bedroom Door Open... I know personal space is key, but letting people know they're welcome to come and have a chat is so useful when making new friends. Bring some communal snacks (I brought a box of chocolates) to help put people at ease and create a more collective atmosphere. 

Get a Railcard... Honestly, it will be worth it in the long run with all of the going back and forth. I got a free one with signing up to Santander's student bank account scheme, and this may still be the case. 


Go Overboard with Kitchen Supplies for First-Year... most of it will get lost, borrowed, dirtied and even broken. Please don't buy too much and spend a ton, it really won't be worth it. 

Get Caught Up in the Housing Rush... everyone will be trying to find a house ASAP and this isn't always the best way. Don't get caught up in it and take time to find people you're comfortable with. 

Splash Out on Books Straightaway... books are expensive and often, preliminary reading isn't even touched upon. See if you can access it on the library or online, and then decide if you want to spend your savings. If you choose to purchase copies, I recommend buying second-hand on places like Amazon, or asking students in the year above if they have your texts from their previous studies. 

Have any questions about university or tips I've missed? Please comment below!


  1. Something tells me that a fresher such as myself is going to be coming back to this post XD great advice and very welcome at the moment!