19 August 2011

I Need Your Help - University Related

As most of you know I got into uni yesterday which i'm still so happy about! 
I know quite a few people who read my blog go to or have been to uni so I thought it would be a really good opportunity to ask you all for a little bit of advice.
There isn't really anything specific that I want to know but if there was one piece of advice you'd give to someone about to start uni what would it be? 
This can be anything, from what to take with me to studying and living with new people :)
I also hope this post is useful to anyone in the same situation as me, and thanks to anyone that takes the time to comment.


  1. please do a post on all the advice you get as i'm starting too!
    Good luck! xx

  2. Accept every opportunity that comes your way, even if you're not sure about it. Do it anyway!

    Label your milk.

    I'd also recommend getting a notebook with dividers in it for all your different modules. So you know where everything is but it's still organised!

    Use the library. It's your friend. I didn't start using mine til the 3rd year :O

    Also use the journals, ebooks, online journals etc for your essays, you'll get higher marks the more stuff you reference on your own.

    Learn to reference correctly. This will depend on your course as there are a few different styles, mine was Harvard though and a lot of people still couldnt do it properly in the last year!

    Well that was more than one bit of advice but hope it was helpful! If you want to know anything else just tweet me @amymcjohnson. Congrats in getting in to uni - you'll have the time of your life!


  3. Be open minded and don't be shy!

    Start your essays as soon as possible, I always left mine until the night before and ALWAYS regretted it!

  4. Definitely don't leave things to the last minute, you'll look back and realise you could of done a lot better if you'd spent more time on it! And most of all, enjoy it :) three years will fly by! I'm in my third and final year when I go back in September and it only seems like yesterday that I started xx

  5. I commuted from home, but the one thing i would advise is... don't be nervous, everyone is in the same boat!

    My one bit of advice is a bit random, and when some one told me i was like eh? weird! But as soon as i did it,i felt calmer and organised! I printed out monthly calendars (theres one on a mac) and stick on your wall with blue tac, fill in all your deadlines, student loan payments, rent etc that way you can see how long you've got and you can plan your time. Espesh when i was doing my dissertation i felt in control of deadlines, terms fly by nobodies business!

    Another would be to get a part-time job - the extra ££££ make SUCH a big difference! xxxx

    i know they seem pretty obvious, but my life

  6. I'd agree with the points above, especially the learning to reference properly early on - it saves looooads of time - and write down where you get your information from when you start taking notes from books etc, it might sound obvious, but I know so many people who were hunting for books to check on the night/day of submissions!

    Aside from the studying though, my best tip would be to make the most of opportunities. This is three years where you get to experiment with new things, try languages, societies, work experience - I wish I'd done more, but of what I did do, I have fantastic memories.

    I'd also say (I know you probably don't want to think about this) to have an eye on your CV when you come out of uni. Mine ran workshops on presentation skills, IT courses, even a 'Emergency First Aid at Work' certificate - this, combined with work experience, will really help you when you graduate.

    And finally, if you're moving to somewhere new, really get to know your area. I had a couple of part time jobs in my city, and it was really good to get some local knowledge, plus people really like it if students take an interest in the community. I found some of my best experiences were exploring (read: getting lost) not just in the city but further afield. Plus when relatives/friends come to stay, they're going to expect you to show them around!

    I hope this helps, just enjoy the time you have at uni, make the most of it, don't be scared as you will get to grips with everything, and congratulations! xx

  7. was so muh easier for it!

    reference as you go along in reports/essays, if you quote people always put the pg numb and book as you go along!

    NUS card is holy grail!

    I made a glossary of 'long words' lol in the back of a note book, that way i wouldn't forget what they meant!

    use and abuse your library, get to the mot popular books first!


  8. Basically, have as much fun as you can during your first year. As people have said before, try and take every opportunity that is given to you.
    Meet as many people as possible, and don't be scared to be yourself, as University is all about finding out the real you.
    There isn't the pettiness of School, so people are usually chill and up for a laugh.

    Most of all, just enjoy yourself!
    You will do great.


  9. Hi! I've done some posts on what to take ect:


    any other advice? Be yourself! Sounds silly, but it's true! Take every opportunity and just have fun really! Oh and take ear plugs.. trust me!

    Kathryn Xx

  10. Eeep, huge congrats for getting in sweetie <3 Put yourself out there for new opportunities that you wouldn't usually think twice about. Savvy up on Harvard referencing (or whichever style your University uses), it'll make essay writing a lot easier in the long run! Use the padlock for your kitchen cupboard (: And most importantly, have fun! xxxx

  11. Congrats on getting in hun - so fantastic!

    My advice would be to budget - seriously! I lived in my overdraft all the time and it was such a hassle when I came out of uni trying to clear it!

    If you've opened up a student account, I'd recommend asking them if you can open another account with the same back so that can be for all your bills/rent etc then when your loan comes in, you can just transfer out all of that and whatever that's left is all yours to play with!

    Also, second-hand books. My uni had a book store on campus and they sold books from other students that had finished using them so definitely worth a look - in my first year I did the mistake of buying every book they suggested and hardly used any, so only buy what's necessary-the others will be in the library!

    3rd-use the library! I didn't use the library until my final year and kicked myself for it!

    Finally, have fun-don't be shy! Everyone is in the same boat as you! Join some groups and you'll make lots of new friends!

    Have fun lovely! XXX

  12. Talk to everyone - even if you don't end up being friends with them in the long run, it helps bring up your confidence. Get used to all the small talk about where you're from and what A-Levels you took! I spoke to people who were in my halls on Facebook before we went, then I hunted them down about an hour after I had moved in and then we sort of moved around the rest of my halls as a pack to speak to everyone else - it's more reassuring moving in a group than alone! Also, it sounds stupid, but my mum gave me loads of sweets and chocolate bars and I took them around with me - good conversation starter!

    Fancy dress - anything you can think of, take it with you, you'll get so much use out of it. My union has weekly themed nights so we used ours a LOT.

    Be aware of everything in your kitchen - I was with quite a few messy people and had to leave a lot of notes around asking them to clean up/wash up my stuff they had used without asking (but maybe I'm just a bitch haha) Agree with labelling your food, but still expect it to go missing. Just be generally respectful I guess - if you ask to borrow something of someones they might be more inclined to do the same back.

    Also agree with keep on top of your work (though saying that I haven't started my third year reading yet and I go back in 2 weeks.) the minumum would be keeping all yor folders organised, and use your days off/breaks in your days to do any work because usually the evenings in freshers year are when everyone wants to go out/do something, this way you're less likely to miss out.

    And everyone gets homesick - I found the third week, when everything had sort of calmed down and I realised that I wasn't at home haha was when I just sobbed my way through the week, but I wouldn't recommend going home every weekend if you can avoid it. Once a month is probably a good amount though by second term I went home only for my holidays! Once you've got your freedom, it's strange being back at home and not able to just flit around at all hours going out or cooking or whatever.

    Sorry, this was really long, but I hope it was helpful. Congrats on getting into uni and I hope you have an amazing time - I'm so glad I went (despite still not having a career plan!)

  13. Stock up on things like loo rolls,face wipes,shampoo,body lotion etc before you go to uni and and your money is sucked down the drain for food,you can definately do without buying shampoo on top of an already tight budget!
    90% of students get freshers flu (I got it every single year!) so take loads of lemsip,paracetamol and throat sweets.
    Have a fab time! x

  14. When I first started one the lecturers turnt round and told us to make the most of every opportunity and if you get asked to do anything always say yes! because university is one of the best experiences of your life and something you'll want to remember :)


  15. Ooooh well done for getting accepted!! :) I only started last year but here's a couple of tips:

    - Use journals over text books, they get you higher marks because they are more professional

    - In relationship to that, make sure you look up on referencing. I don't know what type you will need to use though.

    - Have fun and don't regret one thing. I had the best year ever last year :)


  16. Congratulations on getting into uni!
    My one tip would be to try something that you've always wanted to do but have never had the chance or been brave enough to do. I started horse riding when I was at uni and loved it even though I was a complete beginner at the age of 22! I'm just about to start my first job now and won't have the time to spend a few hours on a Wednesday afternoon riding around a field so I'm really glad I took advantage of the opportunity. Use your spare time well as once "real life" starts you don't get nearly so much of it and you want to be able to look back and think that you made the most of it! x

  17. Congratulations on getting into uni! I would say the best thing to do when you arrive at halls is leave your door open as you're unpacking so you can chat and get to know the people on your floor, I was so nervous at first and felt like turning round and going home as soon as I'd got there! Just remember everyone's in the same boat, as soon as I ventured out of my room I got talking some girls on my floor who are now some of my best friends! You will have a great time, just think of all those fun activities and nights out you'll be having in freshers week! x

  18. Talk to anyone and everyone - in your first week you'll meet so many people. Some you'll never see or talk to ever again but it's a perfect chance to meet lots of new people.

    Don't be scared of the university. Mine was huge and it was rather daunting, but you'll come to love it.

    Don't get daunted about your first couple of eassys. A lot of people notice [myself inculded] that your grades may suck. Writing an essay in Six Form is totally unlike one for university. Clue up about how your university/department likes it's referencing. That is key.

    If your sharing milk with your house/flat mates buy it in a rota order, or one person will always end up buying it. We allocated one shelf in the fridge/freezer too so peoples stuff doesn't get eaten.

    Do a module that's a bit outside your comfort zone. I did once and it proved to be one of the most enjoyable and highest grading modules for me!

    Most of all, just enjoy it. I loved university. But it goes too quick!

  19. Congratulations on getting in :) This isn't really advice but I couldn't not comment after reading your post just to say this - Going to university was the best decision I have made to date, and you will categorically have the time of your life. I'm just about to go into my fourth and final year and I am so jealous of all the Freshers starting in September, I would do it all again if I could (afford it ha!).. Make the most of your time there and know that you only get to do it once so do it however makes you happiest.. Oh and whoever suggested leaving your door open when you move in to halls; I couldn't agree more. It's scary but totally worth it. Best of luck for Sept, keep us posted with how you get on please! xx

  20. Congratulations :)
    Having just graduated and started working full-time, the main thing I would say is, enjoy yourself! Obviously you're there to get a good degree, and you do need to get a good work/life balance. But throw yourself into it 100%, because you're never going to have those opportunities again. And once you finish (I know that seems forever away, but my 4 years absolutely flew by), you'll want lots of memories you can keep forever! x

  21. Budget
    work hard
    play hard
    enjoy yourself
    Stacie xoxox

  22. well done hun =) my advice would be make sure your always doing something. might sound strange but its the best way to stop you from feeling homesick. if you don't get on with people in your flat do not fear there is always 20 other people down the corridor and just be yourself. also on a practical side i love having a part time job as it gave me more money and things to do when i only had 1/2 lectures a week. also spend time visiting your friends at uni and having them stay as then uni really feels like a home away from home xxx

  23. Congrats on getting into uni! My advice would be don't be shy! Get involved in everything. Uni is full of amazing opportunities. Join societies and think about going for positions within societies in 2nd year - looks fab on your CV :) Also if you need a job at uni, check out working for your department for for Admissions on Open Days - fab little earners xx

  24. Oh and one more bit of advice - there is never enough plug sockets in halls of residence so take an extension cable or two! And for anything you think 'oh I won't need that' - yes you will - take it lol cos you'll kick yourself for not taking it when you get there xx

  25. Congratulations! Everyone else's advice is great. I'd say expect your house mates to be messy and try not to let it bother you too much - it was a massive cause of friction between me and my first year flatmates. Best way around this for me was to not share my plates/cups/cutlery and to actually talk to people if it's bothering you instead of bottling it up or sticking post it notes insisting people clean up.

    Also, don't go mad buying loads of stuff for the flat before you move in because a lot of things will be provided by the uni or your landlord(toaster, kettle etc.) and if not it's best to see what your flatmates have brought otherwise you end up having loads of everything - we each brought a set of pots and pans and a cheese grater.

    Most of all just have fun and don't worry! :)


  26. Try everything once and don't be afraid to take a risk or to put yourself out there. I'm about to start my second year and my closest friends and most memorable adventures started from following that piece of advice.

    Also I completely agree with Stacie's comment above. Work hard, play hard works and is the best way to squeeze everything you can out of university. Good grades, career prospects, lots of fun and life long friends!

    Hope you have a fantastic time!


  27. I've written a post with my top 5 word related tips.


    I'm planning on doing a few more in the coming days, so keep checking back!!

    Polly ♥

  28. these are all great advice. What I would say is:
    1. make the most of work experience/internships/volunteering for societies as much as you can. It can really help you getting a job later on!
    2. buy a small lunchbox-style box to keep all your food in the fridge so you (and others!) know what's yours.
    3. Talk to everyone. If you're in halls just leave your door open so people can say hi if you're shy.

  29. Work hard, otherwise you'll regret it when you get your results. xxx

  30. Congratulations on getting in. My advice would be:

    1. Take pictures/posters etc if you're living in halls. They look like cells if you don't make them your own.

    2. Be open minded and expect to have to bend and compromise in order to get along with living with new people and a new lifestyle.

    3. Even if it doesn't count, work hard in your first year,it makes the 2nd, 3rd and 4th (if you have a 4th) years much easier and less stressful.

    4. Most of all, try and build a good relationship with your personal tutor and don't be a stranger if you're struggling with something academically or otherwise. They're generally really helpful if you can bring yourself to go talk to them.

  31. Get involved with as many things as possible.

    Also, people will be very friendly at first, however may change dramatically over the course of the year!

  32. Just do everything! Join societies, go to socials, talk to everyone. You'll meet so many amazing people that way! Societies are the best!