Hi! My name is Nikita and I graduated from Aston in July 2016. I’m here to give you a few pointers about starting university and hopefully clear up some of your worries!
1. Everyone is in the same boat
I was the only one out of my friend group to go to Aston so I was petrified about walking in alone and feeling left out. Little did I know I had nothing to worry about! You won’t be the only one on your own, everyone will be the same. From the first lecture you sit in, everyone around you will be introducing themselves to others, make sure you’re doing the same and really stepping out of your comfort zone. Everyone wants to meet new people and make new friends so make sure you say hi and get to know everyone you meet!
2. You don’t have to join every society at the Fresher’s Fair
I thought that the fresher’s fair was the only chance I’d get to join societies, which meant paying for every society I wanted to join. This isn’t the case at all. Every society holds a Meet and Greet event where you can get to know more about the society and its events. My advice would be attend all the Meet and Greets that you can then decide if this society is really for you.
3. Make the most out of Fresher’s Week
The people you meet in your first few lectures, make sure you ask them what events they’re going to and tag along with them. You’ll meet even more people and have someone to go in with. Fresher’s week is made out of day and evening events that suit everyone. Decide which are right for you and start asking others if they’re attending. This is especially important if you’re commuting as you won’t always be on campus to meet new people. Make sure you attend as many events as you can and really expand your contacts.
4. Budgeting is the key to success
Whether you’re commuting or living out, budgeting will definitely need to be a big part of your student life. The coffee’s you’re buying every morning before your 9am lecture really add up, so try to resist temptation. Bring a snack from home or a travel mug with a hot drink in, this will stop you from buying stuff from the places around you. Get a notepad and dedicate it to your finances; split up all your bills and how much everything costs. This will show you how much you need to save for bills every month and how much you can spend on yourself. Don’t go crazy!
5. Reading lists or library?
You may have heard about the dreaded long reading lists of which you have to buy every single book. This isn’t always the case. Don’t buy every book before you start uni as your library might have everything you need! Loan out the books relevant and ask your lecturers which ones are worth buying. Some books you’ll need throughout your universities years, whereas, some you’re better off just loaning.
6. Add everyone on Facebook
Whether you like Facebook or not, it’s pretty useful when you’re at uni. Add your course mates along with people you met in fresher’s week, this way you’ll remember who they are and will most likely bump into them on campus. Facebook is the most useful when it comes to group work. You might not want to give your number out so adding everyone in your group on Facebook will allow you to have group chats and organise meetings. Societies also use Facebook as a way of contacting everyone so make sure you join all the groups and keep yourself updated.
7. Make friends with people who live on campus
This is for those who are planning on commuting to uni! Having someone on campus makes life so, so, SO much easier! Whether you’re coming back from a night out, late dinner, library session or just want to sleep in before your 9am lecture; having a place to stay near uni is really useful. It’s also perfect for those long gaps in-between lectures and you’ll have a new place to revise!
8. On campus opportunities
Get involved! From the Student Union to becoming a Student Ambassador, there’s lots of paid roles on campus for you to get involved in. It’s always good to earn a bit of money to treat yourself with, and it will look amazing on your CV! Don’t only focus on the paid roles, but the voluntary ones too. Whilst you’re on campus you might as well help out and build your CV at the same time.
Just remember to be confident! This is your time to meet new people and try new things, make the most out of it.