Uni tips from experience

Seeing as my sister is starting in a couple of days I am going to share three tips I have already told her. These are not just new students but also those returning to university this September. I didn't want to simply write a long list of the standard tips you will find everywhere but rather a few I think are really important and that I wish I had thought of when I started uni 9 years ago (!!).

1. Be prepared to lose all of your cutlery

Either spend a bit more and buy something that is distinctive or buy cheap items and be prepared to replace them. No matter how hard you try things will go walkies. Whether you put away in your drawer or leave on the sideboard for five minutes . . . it will disappear. At least if you have something with distinct markings on you can win the argument when claiming back your stuff!

2. Join a club or society

I really do think this is important. I knew some people whose social group was the people they lived with and I knew some people whose friends were from the club they were in. You don't know who you are going to live with. Although you may get on with everyone during the first couple of weeks things can change once everyone is settled in. Joining a club gives you a hobby, something to do outside of work/drinking and friends. I was in the surf club but I wasn't dedicated to it as I sometimes found the social side of it hard. I did try other clubs (from Irish dancing to wake-boarding and volunteering) but never really stuck at anything. It would have helped me have a wider circle of friends had I been more involved.

3. Be open and unjudging

I don't think unjudging is a word but i'm going to go with it. You will meet so many people from all walks of life during your first few weeks and will end up having that drunk toilet 'what are you studying, where do you live?' conversation a thousand times. Do not dismiss anyone. (Though i'm not really talking about your sudden toilet best friend that night. I really don't think either of you will recognize each other the next day)
You think the people you stick to in freshers week are all you need and will be friends for life? Not necessarily. I don't think it's really until the second term of uni that you start to establish friendship groups. Not quite sure how to phrase this but be open to people and experiences that are different or what you are used to. If someone is too loud and brash for you, it's probably just a front and they are just as scared as you.

I hope these few pieces of advise are useful to some of you, please let me know if you are starting uni or if you have any tips. Please share with anyone you think would find it useful. :)

As a last piece of advise. Don't relent and do your housemates washing up. They won't learn.

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