plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

September 21, 2007

advice to freshers

Filed under: Uncategorized — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

Its nearly time for freshers week. Here are my best pieces of advice for you all.

Go to lectures. In my first year, I didn’t go to all my 9 o’clock lectures, but my understanding increased significantly every time I made the effort to get up. On a related note, ask for help from lecturers, post graduates and other students whenever you need it. You want to get the degree, as well as enjoy yourself.

Make new friends. Even if all of your friends from school or college have come with you to University, make new friends. Your first term is the perfect opportunity to meet more new people than you’ve ever met before. Take advantage. Its true that you probably won’t speak to most of them much after Christmas, but you don’t know who is going to turn out to be a life long friend.

Go out. The quintessential student experiences involve switching off the IM, leaving the halls of residence, heading into the big wide world and taking advantage of student discounts. Alcohol, cinemas, and travel are among the things that you can get money off by waving your NUS card, or applying for student discounts – you’ll kick yourself if you don’t do something about it now.

Get a student bank account and loan if you need one. Money is important. Student bank accounts have many perks, you’d be a fool to stick to a regular one. If you need a student loan to fund yourself, don’t forget to apply and then go and pick up whatever you need to from your University. Late installments make for a cash flow nightmare.

Get a job. The best place to get a job is probably in your student union. This has two distinct benefits. Firstly, you will make some money, which you can then spend on the poison of your choice. Secondly, you will meet new people and have new experiences – the real reason you should be going to University in the first place.

Don’t go home. Well at least not for six weeks. The best way of getting over homesickness is to throw yourself into new activities. Definitely keep in contact with your folks – if they’re anything like mine, they’ll expect a weekly phone call, on top of emails – but give yourself a chance to get to like your new freedoms and friends. If you still hate it after 6 weeks, go home and see what you think then, you might be surprised at how much you miss University once you’re at home.

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