Before we start, we know there are a bajillion students hacks articles out there. Read on though, because we've got some really useful tips you may not have seen before.
Before you go...
When you start, you’re likely to have a lot of money in your pocket at once. Take some time to learn how to manage your budget, so you never have to go without.
Natwest have a super handy budget calculator for you to use whilst you're at uni, but it might be worth checking it out now.
If you don’t already know how to cook, learn how to make at least seven basic healthy meals from scratch. Your waistline and wallet will both thank you.
- Chilli con carne. Buy one of the sachet mixes in the supermarket, follow the instructions on the back, and boom, an easy dinner that's great for batch cooking.
- Chicken stir fry
- Tuna pasta bake
- Spaghetti Bolognese. We've given you a link but most families have their own version, tbh.
- A roast dinner. It's all about timing!
- A jacket potato. It's easy, but you'll need patience and time.
- An omelette.
Get your parents to give you a few lessons on the washing machine. Try as you might, you can’t leave all your laundry for home visits, unless you’ve got loads of clothes and/or the strength to haul a giant suitcase onto the train.
When you start...
Go to the Freshers Fayre and join a society or two. If you don’t do it at the start, it can be easy to lose momentum and end up not bothering. Think of all the friends you could be making who like the same things as you!
Struggling to wake up for your 9am lecture? Stick your phone in an (empty) glass next to your bed. When the alarm goes off, it’ll be much louder, plus you’ll have to use extra brain power to get it out of the glass and turn it off.
Chores, chores, chores
Boring as they are, there will be chores. Deal with them sooner rather than later, or you’ll have some seriously unpleasant days ahead.
Make sure you're aware of the support available at your university and USE IT. Everyone wants to see you succeed, but they're not mind readers - let them help you.
When you're hungry...
Reheat any leftover pizza in a frying pan. After a couple of minutes on low heat, add a couple of drops of water and cover with a lid. Wait one more minute and you’re back to crisp crust and melty cheese goodness.
Running low on space in the kitchen? Open a drawer, place a chopping board on top and there ya go.
Buying mince? If you won't use it all, portion it out before you freeze it.
Fancy a slushie? Get a bottle of your favourite fizz, shake it up and put it in the freezer for 3 hours and 15 minutes. Once the time’s up, take it out, open the lid, close it again and shake. Serve.
Your bananas will last four or five days longer if you wrap the top of them with cling film.
When you've got an essay due...
Talk to the librarians. They know EVERYTHING.
Writing 200 - 500 words of an assignment a day is much easier than 2,500 words all at once!
Through your reading you'll start to pull together lots of different sources, which you'll use to build your arguments. Keeping track of these will make referencing your work a LOT easier. Even better, if your university uses RefWorks, use it; it can build your bibliography for you.
Tasks for this week:
- If there are some skills you'll need to learn (like cooking or using the washing machine), get your parents to teach you.
- Speak to any friends you have who are already university students to see if they can suggest any more tips.