Thursday, 7 April 2016

3 top tips to get you through your University years



Hi guys, Welcome back again for another advice/lifestyle post! This time I want to talk to you about something pretty personal to me, but also something which I really feel I can offer advice about because I had an experience which wasn't so great and would obviously feel like I can offer some tips to you all who are either going through this right now or are starting University really soon. So, yeah you will have guessed by now that this post is all about University and my 3 ultimate top tips to get you through your university years. The reason I use the choice words 'get through' is because my experience of University was really not great at all and if you read one of my most recent posts about why I love home so much then you may have noticed I brushed on this topic a little bit there. However, this is definitely a post in itself that I have been meaning to write for some time now, and so therefore here it is. I do not want you all to think that this post is not for you if you are having a great time and loving university because to be honest these tips could also be completely appropriate for you all loving university too. Just bare with me.... 


Establish a good group of friends from the beginning. 

In order to be happy at University you need a good, solid group of friends around you. You need friends around you to go out and have fun if that's what you are into, you also need good friends for all the hard times too - think about it, its your home away from home and if you are feeling down for whatever reason then you want someone near you to speak to and not feel alone. The reason I personally feel as though this is so important is because when I was at Uni, I think my experience would have been a million times better if I just had one friend to turn to but honestly I didn't. I don't want this to seem like a sob story because it truly isn't and I have learnt so much from my time at University and it has definitely made me grow into such a better person. BUT I do believe that my experience would have been so much better if I at least had one close friend. 

My trouble at university started at the beginning really, I was put into a flat of people I did not really gel with and subsequently I used to jump on a train home most weekends just because they were either unsociable or just not really doing things I wanted to join in with. The second flat I moved into was almost the opposite, they were the people I chose to live with and hang around with but they were extremely pushy and I just found I was almost not allowed any private time without someone wanting to either have an opinion or be involved. I was going through quite a hard time in my first year of university and I definitely would have benefitted from having a group of friends around me who I felt were truly there for me - but I did not. 

I knew where I stood with pretty much everybody I met at University and because of this I just completely kept my guard up and did not ever reveal my true self to anybody. I am so happy I was like this though because people already took advantage of me, never mind if I had been completely myself to them. I left university happy, with no ties to anybody and waved goodbye with the most huge smile on my face! I have no regrets for saying goodbye in this way, I am happier than ever and its made me who I am today.. but obviously if I had had a different experience from the beginning then things would have been very different. 

All I encourage you to do if find a supportive and steady group of friends or a friend who you can rely on - it is so important for having a good and well rounded University experience. If you are reading this now and are virtually the end of your last year of Uni and still feel like this (how I did) then don't fret about it, you have managed this long - just a few more weeks to go and then you too can leave with a smile on your face and finally get on with your life!! My life definitely started when I eventually left Uni!! 


Completely throw yourself into your course

Why do you go to University? Lets be honest most people would probably answer 'for the social life' when really they mean to say 'to study...' Although I totally believe that you should try to enjoy your University life as much as possible, and live it to the full - you also cannot let your course and the work slip threw your fingers!! and it does happen! Sometimes you can get stuck in this 'rut' of continuously going out, being hungover, going out, being hungover and then where is the time for lectures and the work? Yes, go out and enjoy yourselves but make sure you fit in the time to do your work and get your essays done. Luckily enough for me, when I started University the fees were a lot less (not cheap whatsoever, but less) and now students are paying £9000 a year, so therefore if you do not put your all into that year, then what have you really spent £9000 on? Right now, you cannot see that money but when you have a job you will have to pay it back and then you will notice the money - so why not make it worth something?? I do not want to sound like a boring old lady, nagging away and saying you need to put studying before everything.. because that is seriously not what I am saying!! Prioritise that's all, make time to socialise whilst making sure you get all your work done too!! It is actually fairly easy to balance the lot once you get the hang of it, and then going out can actually feel like a reward for getting your work done and you will feel like you have accomplished something as well as enjoying yourself!

Also, I am a complete advocate for focussing on your course in another sense, because lets be honest - when I was at University the course was literally all that kept me going at times. I hated life at Uni, I didn't have a solid group of friends and it just was not anything I hoped for really - but I loved my course, saw an end goal and continued to work so it wasn't worth nothing. Yes, I came out of university the happiest woman in the world for a few reasons;

a) I had finally finished a very hard course 
b) I never had to step foot in that University again and it meant I could move on with my life 
c) I was finally let loose in my nursing career, could make my own decisions and finally earn some money instead of going to placements and working the same amount of hours as a Registered Nurse but for 0 money. 

So yes, I can completely say that one of my top tips for your University years would be to throw your entire self into your course because it was literally my everything at University and was the only reason I continued to even go!! If you too feel unhappy at Uni, then think of your course. Are you passionate about the course you are doing? Do you see yourself having a career in the field? Is it important to you? Bare all these things in mind when making any decisions, such as not revising for that exam, going out on a night out instead of writing that essay, leaving uni because your unhappy with everything but the course. Put your degree at the front of your mind, and everything else should come second. 





Do not blow your Student Loan on pointless things

I am one of the worst people with money, honestly and now I have a job and an actual income coming in I find that once I get some money I always have something on my list I need to buy, or a holiday or something I need to pay for. I didn't realise until I went to uni, just how bad other people are with it, and how actually maybe I am not too bad? Your student loan (as far as I can remember) comes in 3 instalments a year, and so therefore the money you get in each needs to last you until the next payment. I have to admit, when I was at Uni, I wasn't too bad with my student loan - I was actually reasonably sensible. When it came into my bank I used to buy the odd Topshop top I had been wanting, but other than that I used to keep it and it either got spent on transport to uni, or train tickets home or to see Simon in Sheffield. However, other people I met throughout my time at uni, used to make it last approximately a day before it was gone again. I know people who just blew the full thing on alcohol and nights out, ipads, phones, laptops, clothes and then ended up taking out about 2 or 3 different over drafts with banks. That is not something you want to start doing, and in order to stop it from happening all you need to do is not spend money on pointless stuff you can seriously live without. If you do do this all it means is that when you finish university, not only will you have a whopping student loan bill, but also 2 or 3 different overdrafts to try and pay your way out of before you are actually into positive amounts of money. 

I am a massive believer in the saying 'you only live once' and would rather be happy being poor than miserable with a bank full of money, but even I have to say that the way some people spent their money at Uni was pretty ridiculous. Its important to make sure you always have enough money in your account for the bills you need to pay, your rent, for food and just for general life expenses and then whatever is left over you can spend however you wish - but do not spend your money on objects you do not actually need before considering the necessities. Its a pretty simple tip, but one that very regularly seems to be surpassed. 

At the end of the day, you don't want to miss out on the fun things everybody is doing or get yourselves in trouble with land lords or companies just for the sake of buying a new iPad. Bare it in mind that's all! 


So there you have it, my 3 top tips to get you through your University years. 3 topics I felt quite strongly about at the time, and all 3 helped me be who I am and where I am today. Yes the friends situation did not work for me but it pushed me to focus on my course more and knowing that I had money in my bank meant I could jump on a train easily and be with my family, friends or boyfriend. They were the 3 factors which shaped my whole University experience and I really hope you can at least take a small pointer from this post which will change your University life for the better. 

Let me know in the comments below if you have any other University top tips which may help anybody reading this if they are struggling with certain things at uni, or even just about to start and want some helpful hints & tips!! 

If you guys are enjoying reading about my university experience or want to see some more advice posts about issues involving uni, or nursing in particular then let me know in the comments below or send me an email on laurenthwaites14@outlook.com and I can either answer them directly or pop some more posts on the blog or my youtube channel. If you didn't already know then I also posted a video on my channel answering all of your questions related to nursing, why not check that out? 

Much Love 

Lauren
x

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