I have no idea what I’m doing. (Seriously, not a clue.) One thing I do know is that I could have gone about this whole University thing in a much better way. I have had people give the same advice I am about to give to you and did I listen? No I did not.
What I’m trying to say is please just take at least something away from this list I’ve written and don’t make the same mistakes I did. Or if not, contact me when you’re going into your third year and we can wallow in regret together – it’ll be fun. We’ll have cake!)

But I’m not here to talk about me; I’m here to talk about you.
If you are going into third year much like myself – It’s probably it’s too late for us so just keep reading and realise all the things you should have done

Second years – it’s not too late for you just yet; you’ve got one more crack at it!

But first years, if your reading this, please listen because, dear God I wish someone had sat me down, smacked over the head with a massive text book and told me to do all these things from the start.

So, here is a list of 20 nuggets of advice for University students whatever your situation may be:

  1. Go to seminars. It may seem like a waste of time but go! Pick up on random information, impress people with your knowledge when you go home and your family asks you what you’ve been up to.
  2. There’s no popularity contests so just get stuck in, find your people and then branch out from there.
  3. Don’t mix your drinks. I don’t drink personally but I’ve seen what happens and you will regret it.
  4. If someone’s in trouble on a night out, help him or her! Don’t be that person that leaves your friend stranded or think they can sleep it off. If they’re in a bad place be a decent human being – please.
  5. Coming from someone who doesn’t drink and doesn’t go out too often, if your living with someone who doesn’t drink or go out – be respectful!! Don’t be loud, don’t force it on them and ask stupid questions about why we don’t drink. You may think them rude or unsociable but their reasoning might not be your business, just be a good housemate and get on with your own stuff.
  6. This also applies to people with early morning lectures or classes. If you’re partying in the kitchen when someone is trying to sleep in the next room – don’t stop! If the sleeping housemate is a good person they won’t want to spoil your fun – just be considerate with noise.
  7. Find your place! Find the environment where you can get your work done; find your favourite bar, your favourite cafe, the best seat in the lecture room. Just find your comforts.
  8. Don’t be afraid to talk to your tutors and your lecturers. They are not there to hate you, look down on you or fail you. They want you to pass so ask them for advice – some of them are even quite nice!
  9. Sometimes you need a personal day. You may feel that guilt or worry but you know what sometimes you wake up and getting out of bed is the worst idea you can think of. Just turn off your alarm and get that sleep. But if it becomes a reoccurring thing be aware of that and talk to someone about it.
  10. Don’t wait until you’ve dug yourself a massive hole before you ask for help. Whether this be tutoring with essay writing or your mental and physical health. Maybe head on over to the Student Gateway at Gateway House and they can help you with everything from money and welfare to counselling. But if it’s academic advice you’re searching for try the Centre for Learning and Study Support (CLaSS) in the Kimberlin Library and they can help you with anything from study skills to one to one tutorials on your academic practice.
  11. Be quiet in the library. If there is signs saying don’t talk, then don’t. Just….don’t!
  12. Take time for yourself. Yes – your work is important – but take time out to do what you like to do. Playing video games, reading, catching up on that TV show you love, having a bath, or just lying on the floor blowing bubbles. Whatever it is don’t forget about it, your body will thank you!
  13. Don’t forget to eat, sleep and drink water. Don’t die. Coffee does not equal sleep.
  14. Communicate with your lecturers. If you’re sick just shoot them an email letting them know and make sure you catch up while you recover. Sometimes your ill, that’s not your fault and you’re not going to get in trouble for taking a couple of days off in bed. Just don’t fall too far behind.
  15. Facebook is your friend. Find your graduating year; find your hall of residences. Talk to people; make friends and panic about your essay deadlines together. Trust me you’ll feel better!
  16. Do the reading you’ve been given. I know it’s a pain and everyone hates it but try. Just scan if it makes you feel like you want to jump out of your bedroom window but it will help in the long run. Yes it is a lot of reading. Yes it will suck. Man up and do it anyway.
  17. Don’t be afraid of mature students. They’re not all bad you know!
  18. Get involved. Learn something new, enjoy something you love. Branch out. Maybe join the Dodgeball society or the cocktail society or if those aren’t your thing try one of the sports clubs available such as Hockey or Fencing. DMU has 35 sports clubs and 58 societies but if nothing grabs your attention you can set up your own.
  19. Don’t leave your work until the night before. I know it seems obvious but you will be tempted to just attempt an all-nighter but give yourself the time to do that work.
  20. Have FUN! Your spending a hell of a lot of money to be there but do your homework and it’ll all be worth in the long run.

Rachael Atkinson Millmoor