Student life hacks

Top tips for your first few days at university

Written by Jessica Lear, MA student

Your first few days at university can feel very exciting but also a bit daunting, but here are some top tips to help you get the most out of this time and feel settled into university life.

  1. Have your bedroom door open

    It can be natural to want to hide away in your room, but before you arrive at university it’s worth investing in a door stop as it is a great way of getting to know the people you are living with. Having your door open when you’re inside your new room means that you are approachable to your housemates and it is easy for them to talk to you as they walk past or to come in for a chat. It is an easy way to break the ice with the people you are living with, and it is the small comments or bits of conversation as people walk past that can help you feel more comfortable in your new environment.

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University essentials: stationery

Written by Ashley Fontaine, BA English Literature and Film & Theatre

So, you’re off to university (hooray!) and whether you’re staying at home or on campus, this no doubt means a massive shopping trip is on the horizon.

Course books are likely to be at the top of your list, but stationery should be high on your agenda too! I always look forward to starting a new academic year, as it gives me a reason to buy a fresh stationery set. Having an array of colourful pens and highlighters can make writing up those lecture notes just a little bit more pleasant, and are perfect for creating visual reminders.

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University essentials: what to pack

Written by Doris Christodoulou, BA History

If you’re a fresher, you’re probably freaking out about what to take with you to university, in addition to all other arrangements you need to think about…

To put your mind at rest, it’s totally normal. You’re leaving home, probably for the first time, where no one will be on hand to look after you. Cleaning, cooking meals, doing laundry, organising yourself – it’s all on you now. Packing the right stuff is going to need some thought but remember, you won’t need much more than what you’d generally need at home.

Here’s a basic packing list with essentials to take to uni with you.

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Tips, tricks & myth-busting: what it’s really like to a be a joint honours student

Written by Ashley Fontaine, BA  English Literature and Film & Theatre

Joint honours degrees (also known as combined courses) have become increasingly popular in the last few years. According to a UCAS spokesperson, 58, 255 prospective students applied for joint honours degrees in 2013, and this number is likely to have doubled since then.

But, what exactly is it like to be a joint honours student? What do such courses offer? If you’ve just been accepted onto a joint degree at the University of Reading and are wondering what the next three or four years of your academic life will look like, then continue reading for an insight…

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Summer prep for second and third year at university

Written by Diane Pognan, BA Film

Whether you’ve just finished first year or are in the process of preparing for your final year at university, there are a few things you’ll need to think of before transitioning.

Choosing and finalising your modules

Before beginning the next year, you’ll need to select the modules you’ll study next year to ensure that you’ll have the correct amount of credits to complete the year and, eventually, your degree. While during the first year most of your modules are compulsory, you’re given more and more freedom and options as to what you study after this. So, spend some time researching which modules are available to you so you can make choices which best suit your interests and that will hopefully allow you to spread the workload across the three terms. This is really important – you don’t want four modules in one term and two in another!

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Student support: what’s available and where?

Written by Ashley Fontaine, BA  English Literature and Film & Theatre

Student support is at the heart of the University of Reading’s ethos and this is demonstrated through the range of health and wellbeing services that they offer.

Whatever the type of support you require – including counselling, financial, spiritual and disability support – there are members of the university who are trained, on hand, and ready to help or advise you.

Below is an A-Z guide of the main support services that are available for all Reading students.

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Study Abroad with UoR: Life in Australia

Written by Rachel Wyatt, BA Art and Psychology

Study Abroad! There was so much to choose from; the art department had partnerships in every corner of the globe. Should I spend the term in Taiwan, or in Canada? I was very tempted by The University of Ottawa, because of the university’s facilities, and because of the opportunity to learn French as I study. For the same reason, I put Dijon as my second choice, aware of the open doors between countries in Europe, at least before Brexit is completed.

However, I eventually decided to put Monash University as my first choice, and spend the term studying in Melbourne, Australia.

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Getting into Reading Uni through Clearing? Here’s a quick guide to help you

Written by Erin Karn, BA Art and Film

Joining university can be a scary time full of endless preparation. The last thing you need is to have to change all your plans to go to a different university you have no knowledge of. As most universities have different induction processes here’s some step-by-step advice that will walk you through joining the University of Reading community – turning your stressful option into a comfortable choice.

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5 things to do as a Reading student – that don’t involve alcohol

Written by Ashley Fontaine, BA  English Literature and Film & Theatre

It’s likely that one of the first things that springs to mind when you think of the student lifestyle is boozing culture, drunken antics and the inevitable hangover in next day’s lectures.

This stereotype is commonly associated with the ‘university experience’, and while ‘party animal’ capers are great fun for some and almost seen as a rite of passage, it doesn’t need to be the be-all and end-all of your time at university – especially if, like me, you aren’t a big fan of drinking.

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