It’s that time of year again! No, not Christmas (I wish!). It’s the time of year where students everywhere are excited/bricking it at the thought of starting life as a fully-fledged student! This year I graduated as a Primary Teacher and I was recently asked what tips I have… so I thought I’d put some of my mangled thoughts down on cyber paper! As I said, I did Bed Hons Primary Education, but I’m sure these tips could translate in many degrees!
- ‘You need to buy this book’. ‘You will fail the course if you do not buy these books’. ‘An angel will lose it’s wings if you do not BUY THIS BOOK!!’.
Rubbish. DO NOT BUY THEM. At least not brand new. 9 times out of 10 it is NOT needed. If you feel that it is, there are loads of websites dedicated to selling pre-loved textbooks and some universities do a sort of free library specifically meant for such textbooks. Most of the time the books advertised by tutors and lecturers are, at least partly, written by them! And they’re a rip off.
2. Student discounts are LIFE. No, really. Google what discounts you get. I wish I did this earlier as I could have saved SO much money! Also, my uni gave us the option to get Microsoft Office 360? 365? (don’t know as I already had it!) for free! Seriously worth looking out for. Don’t be shy! I was and it cost me, literally! Side note: don’t by a SNAPFAX. This isn’t the 90s.
3. If your degree includes placements, this is the BEST time to learn anything. Jump in with both feet. It will make you tired beyond a level you knew possible, but it is so worth it. It is the only time I felt that I’d learned anything in the 4 years at uni.
- If you’re struggling to fund your studies, apply for a student loan. Yes, I know, but I wouldn’t have managed without mine. Once you earn a certain amount post-education, you pay a small amount each month. Small price to pay to make it out of uni alive if you ask me!
5. Edinburgh University café is a rip off. I know this is area specific but check you’re not paying through the nose wherever you’re learning! Try the Tesco 3 squid meal deal, or make your own lunch! Save on the money and the food baby!
6. Before you know it you’ll be swimming in work (I’m looking at you, dissertation…), spend time with friends and family, explaining you wont see them for a while and explain the brutal slog you have ahead of you. You’ll enjoy seeing them and they’ll appreciate that you’re busy. Win, win!
7. Don’t panic if you don’t understand. Usually you’re not alone, and until you speak up to a good group of people and you hear the oncoming chorus of ‘oh thank god, me too!’, remember to breathe and that you’re not alone. If that doesn’t happen, email or speak to the tutor/lecturer. It will snowball if you don’t. Those problems don’t just vanish. Trust me.
8. Uni can be shit. Don’t let people kid you into thinking their life is 100% partying, loving life and insta-friendly days in the sun. its not. Everyone has meltdowns. EVERYONE.
- If your degree is like mine, every single one of your tutors will ask for a 2000+ word essay to be handed in on the same week. What is life. Urghh…
- Keep going, keep your uni tribe close. Remember those that were around for the meltdowns in pjs with wine andwaaaaay too much McDonalds, and the ones who aren’t. they will make themselves very apparent and they’re not always who you think they are. Life is like that sometimes.
I hope these tips are even a little bit helpful! Share your tips or any questions below!
’til next time,