Congratulations, you’ve gotten into University! The few months leading up to you moving in will be filled with excitement and sadness, but in all honestly it will be the best time of your life. As one of the only people in my family to go to Uni, I found it hard not having someone tell me what to expect or what it was going to be like moving away from my whole family. So I thought I’d give you some of the do’s and don’t’s I wish I’d have known before starting Uni.

DON’T get too caught up!
What I mean by this is that, yes it is a very exciting time for you and everyone will be insanely happy for you, but remember that chances are you’re moving away from everyone you know. Allow time to say goodbye properly, which sounds stupid, but it really does help with the homesickness. Also, in all the excitement, especially in the first few weeks, don’t get roped into doing anything you don’t really want to do. For example last year I brought the fresher’s wristband and probably only went to three of the events tops. What a waste of money! The same with societies, I joined two that I never even went to! Be excited – but don’t do something because everyone else is, if you know you don’t really want to!

DO talk to as many people as you can!
This is my main piece of advice to everyone going to Uni. Chances are you won’t talk to everyone you speak to during the first week by the end of the year, but put yourself out there! Try to talk to everyone on your course, it comes in handy during assignment and exam periods when you can all study together. But also talk to people that aren’t, the more the better. You never know who might end up being your friends!

DON’T bring everything you own!
Chances are your room will look bigger in the picture than it actually is! And besides, take it from me; you definitely do not need to bring everything you own. I tried and failed! I took all the clothes I own – including all my summer clothes, even though you move in in September and spend your first few months in winter months. (At least I would have been prepared had there been a spontaneous heat wave in November!) I also thought it was a good idea to take about 100 books that did nothing but look pretty on my shelf. Prioritize what you really need, kitchen stuff, winter clothes to start, all you school books and perhaps not every pair of shoes you own!

DO find the right balance between work and going out!
Everybody wants to go out and get drunk and have a good time, and that greats but it helps if you’re clever about it. For example, it’s probably not the best idea to go out for a major drinking sesh when you’ve not finished your assignment and it’s due the next day. And you probably don’t want to be the only one turning up to an important lecture with sunglasses on huddled in the corner at the back – in fact if that happens, its probably best you just don’t go! Go out, get smashed, have an absolutely amazing night that you probably wont remember most of when you wake up, but you’ll probably enjoy it more if you know you won’t stumble in at 4 and have to be sitting in a lecture room by 8.

ALWAYS have fun!
This is Uni, it’s supposed to be fantastic, so have a great time, enjoy yourself! Find yourself doing things you never thought you would have, make loads of new friends, get really drunk and not remember most of the time, and finish every week enjoying the look of the next! Have the time of your life, simply because you can. Just because you’re going be called an adult now, doesn’t always necessarily mean you have to act like one!   There you go, five nuggets of advice I think would have made my transition to Uni easier. But don’t just take my word for it, after all Uni is different for everyone and that’s great, there’s no set manual for this! But have fun with it and try to keep your head down sometimes and get some work done – even if you spend the day in the library with your mates, eating gummy bears and gossiping about the night before – at least you’ll have your books open and make it look like you’re doing some work. You’ll at least feel better about it!

Taylor-Louise Rowley


(Image by MTV)