Rowen Marlow, an English Literature student gives her top tips for first year life at Reading University:
1) Be yourself – it sounds obvious but simply being true to yourself and your interests will help you to feel comfortable at university. If your flatmates are going on a night out but you want to stay in and chat to your family on skype, then that’s okay!
2) Be willing to try new things – that being said, being yourself to the point of not trying new things will not be helpful to you. University is not just about getting a good degree, it means living with and meeting new people. You will learn more about yourself by keeping an open mind when considering others people’s ideas.
3) Be prepared – after you have finished your exams before coming to university it can be tempting to forget about education for the summer. It is best to try and have a good head start before you get to university so read some books on your reading list and make sure you have a pen and notepad by welcome week.
4) Join a society – maybe there is a sport you love that you would like to continue or a new sport you would like to try. There is bound to be a sports society for you at Reading like hockey, judo, archery or cheerleading. Or if you aren’t into sports there are numerous volunteer and club societies where you can harbour new skills or build on current ones for example: British Sign Language, St John’s Ambulance and the Duke of Edinburgh award.
5) Be money savvy – when faced with a surge of money in the form of your student loan, it can be tempting to buy that phone or pair of sunglasses you have always wanted… but your loan is there for a reason to help you at university. It is best to create a budget based on money needed for rent, bills, food and books before seeing what is left over to use for socialising and other items.
6) Make the most of welcome week – Chat to your flatmates and new friends from your course about what events you all are interested in going to and buy tickets for these. It will be one of your most memorable parts of university life so make it count!
7) Be organised – when welcome week is over, it’s a good idea to try and keep organised. Lectures and seminars won’t stop if you haven’t done the relevant reading or work and it will be harder to tackle if you don’t stay on top of it from the start. Make a timetable to fit in revision or essay time but don’t forget socialising time. First year will fly by so above all enjoy it and have fun!