I’ve been at university a few years now. In fact I had to drop out of my first course due to the lack of support, that isn’t something we’re going to get into; not today anyway. I have to admit, when you come to an open day the university has a way of making everything flow; they look perfect and you just can’t wait to start.

However I’ve a few years under my belt and sometimes that just isn’t the case. I mean if I knew everything I know now when I started things would have turned differently. So I wanted to pass a little knowledge and wisdom onto the freshers and hopefully you’ll learn something new along the way.

1, Freshers flu, it doesn’t stop.

If you haven’t heard of freshers flu, buckle up! It sucks, if you’re a fresher you need to pay close attention. Current students will know what I’m talking about. Freshers flu basically means that when everyone comes back to university at the start or the year you’re probably going to get unwell. This could be a common cold, the flu or a full blown chest infection. I would have to say that most students get unwell, mostly in September although there is a possibility of getting unwell in January after Christmas as well!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresher or you’re coming back to continue your studies, always bring some paracetamol with you! If you’re a fresher make sure you sign up to the doctors at your university or nearby. Don’t forget to get your HC2 form sorted as well so if you get a chest infection, you don’t have to pay for the antibiotics!

2, You drive….. Great?!?!

You might think that  driving when at university is a great thing and it means you won’t have to struggle with the bus. It means you’re independent and can come and go as you please right? Wrong. In most cases the university of your choice will have limited parking, if this is the case you’re going to be directed towards a car park, a car park which means that student loan is about to get a little bit smaller each year.

At the same time you’re going to find that you struggle to parking at your dorms and again it’s going to cost you to park your car in a local car park, finding one in walking distance to your dorm room can also be a pain! In my opinion, if you drive great but maybe don’t bother with a car until at least your second year where you can get a private house and hopefully a parking space; saving a fortune on parking fees!!

car park full up

3, Lecturers, not teachers!

You hear other students talking about how they’ve never even looked at the reading list, they hardly ever turn up to class and basically their lecturer tells them everything they need to do and they pass with flying colours. If there’s anything I’ve learned from university so far, that’s a load of rubbish! I have to say that 40% of my lecturers have been amazing, they tell me what I actually need to do and don’t mess about.

The other 60% are idiots, they don’t help, they cancel the lessons and make it impossible to see them. When you finally get around to meeting with them they don’t answer any of your questions and you’re left feeling even more confused about the subject than when you first entered the room! Don’t start thinking that a lecturer is a teacher, teachers where nice and helped! If you want my advice, catch up on lecture slides, take a look at the reading lists and try turning up to 50% of your classes at least each semester!

4, Don’t ever take anything for granted!

This one is rather important, even more so to myself. When it comes to university you get relaxed, you get into a habit and you don’t think about much. You might turn up to uni and every morning the first thing you do is get a coffee and sandwich and off to class you go. Fun fact, the other month I found  a hair in my baguette. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve been using receipt hog lately I would have never asked for the receipt, force of habit. Which means I would have never got a refund due to not having a receipt!

Make sure you break the mold and don’t expect people to have your back. The student shop, they sell everything cheap so that students don’t lose out on money; only that’s not true. You can save hundreds each year if you shop at your local supermarket and not in the student shop. Just because they tell you that they save you money, doesn’t mean they do. Sure you might be getting a Twix for 60p in the student shop and it might cost you 80p at Costa; it cost £1 for a four pack in Asda….

So there you have it, don’t take everything for granted and just because it says something doesn’t mean it’s true. Like when a lecturer says this isn’t going to be on the exam, if there’s one thing I learned last year; that line is total rubbish and I ended up one confused puppy in my exam!

So there you have it! Four things they won’t tell you before you start uni, mainly because if they did they’d be losing out on a lot of your money that they could be raking in each year. If you know someone who is starting university don’t forget to forward this onto them. If you found out something new today, yay! If there are ways you use to save money at university or if you just have some helpful, handy tips let me know in the comments!

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