Things I wish I knew before coming to university

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Carmen stood at a city view point with a sunset

Everyone is in the same boat

Starting university may seem a bit daunting at first. You probably do not know anyone, it can be far from home or you can be doubting your capacity to do your degree. However, if you start talking to your peers, you will realise everyone has worries and feels lost at times. It is completely normal as it is a big step where most things are new and unknown.

Learn how to budget

It will probably be the first time you have full control over your earnings and expenses. Pay attention to what you are spending your money on during the first couple of weeks and see if your spending habits need any changing. For example, when I first came, I would do my grocery shopping at more expensive supermarkets and changing to Aldi made a huge difference on my budget as well as meal planning.

Try new things

Lancaster University has over 200 societies… I am sure there is more than one for you. Societies are great to make friends who share similar interests. It is also a great way to try something different. Most societies welcome people to try with a free session, so don’t be afraid to show up! I tried many societies and in my final year I am exec for the Salsa Society.

Make connections

University is a great place to know people within all different types of industry. It is a great way to explore new career paths, find mentors, get tips and get a proper insight into the role you wish to perform in the future. The Careers Service at LUMS is always there for you to contact with any doubts and networking events happen every week across campus.

Do not buy textbooks

Buying textbooks should not be your first option. A lot of lecturers will recommend books and send compulsory readings to complete each week. However, you will normally be told to read one or two chapters from the textbooks and rarely ever the full book. If a textbook costs 40 pounds, I could save that money if the materials are available in another format for free.

Most of the time, you can find these textbooks in the library or online, but if you would like to have a copy of your own, I would go second hand.

If you have a problem, say it

As I said at the beginning, we all find difficulties when coming to university. However, if it feels like it is too much ask for help. There is no shame in it and there are many services with the specific task of helping students.

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