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This week our guest writer Imogen offers some advice for those who are in their first year of university!  

The first year of university is an important and impactful time. It can be daunting moving away from your friends and family to a whole new environment. But it is a wonderful time filled with lots of growth and exciting opportunities.

Starting university is a big step that will lead you to new friends, new adventures and new opportunities, so it is important to make the most of this special time. This article will explore five ways that will help you to get the most out of your first year at university.


Create and Stick To A Budget

Being responsible for your own finances can be a huge adjustment when starting university. But it doesn’t have to be an intimidating or difficult task. There are many ways to make budgeting and tracking your finances easy. For example, if you’re not living in student halls and have found alternative accommodation, you could organise all your household bills into one reliable monthly bill. There are plenty of useful apps out there that are aimed at helping students, such as Glide, which can help ensure your bills are split evenly between you and your housemates, so you don’t have to worry about chasing people for money.  

The most important thing to remember when budgeting is being aware of all your different expenses and prioritising paying your bills as soon as they arrive. Studying at university can be an expensive experience, so be sure to stay on top of your finances and reach out for help if you start to have difficulties. You don’t want financial stress ruining your university experience!


Explore The Social Side

An amazing part of attending university is all the new people you will meet. Most universities offer many clubs and societies and getting involved in these is a great way to meet like-minded people and expand your knowledge on topics you are interested in. It is also a fun way to try something new, so don’t be shy; prioritise meeting new people and getting involved in as many clubs and societies as your schedule and social energy allows for. Having fun and building friendships is an easy way to make your first year at university as memorable as possible. So, pursue your talents and interests and get involved in various clubs and societies. The new friendships you form there will become part of your support network and ensure that you make the most of your university experience.


Form Good Habits

Learning how to juggle social and academic commitments is one of the most difficult challenges for new students. One of the best ways to manage study workloads is to draw up a semester plan. Your first year of university serves as a great opportunity to develop good, healthy habits that you can take with you into the years that follow. Use your first year of studies to figure out your ideal study style and to develop as many beneficial routines as possible. It is also helpful to get to know all the support services your university has to offer. Most universities offer student counselling, mental health support, sexual health support, disability services, careers centres, accommodation and financial support.


Enjoy The Perks

It is a common understanding that students don’t have a lot of disposable income. This means many companies offer a student discount and student deals that you can take advantage of during your student days. From happy hour in the pub, discounts and deals at certain shops and restaurants, student travel discount, to student bank accounts. There are so many perks out there for students to take advantage of - so make the most of your studying days and discover and enjoy them all!


Prioritise Fun

Your education should always be prioritised, but having fun is also an important part of life. So, make the most of your newfound freedom and friends during your years at university. Schedule in time for social events and time with friends. This will help you to have a well-balanced university experience where you can develop connections and a support network, as the first year at university can be a daunting and overwhelming one. Feeling some confusion and frustration is normal, so it is important to balance this out with some fun and stress-relieving activities. Spend at least some of your free time on happiness-boosting activities, like spending time with friends, playing sports, or learning new skills.


Your university years can be some of the best years of your life. As a university student, you essentially have free rein over how you want to spend your day, every day. It can be challenging to manage things on your own, but also exciting as you begin to figure out who you are or who you want to be. So, we hope this article will help you to make the most of this special and important time in your life.


"Imogen Clarke is a freelance writer who covers topics such as student life and mental health. When she is not reading, writing or snacking, she can usually be found with her dog, Charlie."


‘One simple bill’, Glide,

‘Why Having Fun Provides Some of the Best Stress Relief’, Verywell Mind,

‘10 Good Habits to Start While You’re Still in College’, After College,

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