Do you know what really annoys me? When people say that university is easy. It isn’t.
You’re probably moving away from your home, your parents, your friends, your life. It’s a big step and can be hugely daunting. I was really home sick when I first moved away and massively struggled.
I was suddenly drowning in projects, I couldn’t find a way to spark my creativity and every time I started to get somewhere my tutor would rip my work to shreds.
University is tough – I studied Graphic Arts and it was seriously brutal at times. When I was at college my teacher used to praise everything and I was full of confidence and suddenly I was in a situation where everything I did seemed to be wrong.
Now I’ve probably just put every one off of going to university haha – It isn’t all bad! These are some tips that I have for surviving university and having an amazing time.
Make sure you look after yourself:
It’s so easy to fall into a diet of chicken nuggets and chips but that isn’t going to help. Try and cook healthy meals that will give you the energy you need to get all of your work done.
Try and connect with a group of people with similar interests –
There are so many clubs/ societies that you can join. Even if you’re shy (like me), I seriously recommend trying to meet like minded people. You need support to get through university, so it’s really important that you have some close friends that you can rely on.
Keep in contact with home –
I’m a home person, I like to be in my safe space at home. I found it helped to arrange a Skype session once/ twice a week with my parents. It was something to look forward to, and I could always rely on my parents for support.
Make a plan of action each day –
My work was 100% coursework based which meant I had a lot to do. The days that I wasn’t in university, I made myself a to do list to make sure I was remaining productive and making best use of my time.
Take regular breaks –
As I worked through my to do list, I would take regular breaks as it kept me motivated. I also used to treat myself with an hours worth on Netflix over lunch time to give my brain a rest for a while. I would have a ‘wind down’ time in the evening; I would stop working and hang out with my housemates, read a book, bake something etc.
Don’t take everything to heart –
Your tutors aren’t trying to be mean, they’re trying to help you develop. Take on board what they say and try and apply it in your next project.
Plan your dissertation early!!
I can’t even stress this enough. There is NOTHING worse than having to pull all nighters and rush your dissertation to get it finished. Be prepared, have a plan of action and stick to it. I used to write a few hundred words each evening and it soon builds up to where you need it to be.
Go out and have fun –
I was about half an hour away from London by train when I was at university. My best friend and I often used to head into London and go shopping or catch a show at the Westend. It’s a great way to take a break from all of your hard work and it gives you something to look forward to.
You will cry
Be prepared for the fact that you will probably cry a lot. You will feel like giving up; but you have to keep pushing and you’ll get there eventually. Support each other and you’ll get through it together.
Enjoy every moment
University doesn’t last forever. You have 3 years so make the most of it. I graduated in 2014 and I wish more than anything I could go back to university and do it all over again. It was stressful and hard at times, but I miss the freedom and carefree life I used to have. I now have to be a ‘proper adult’ and I’m not going to lie, it’s crap.
I hope this helps anyone who is thinking of going to university or currently struggling their way through university! What are your tips for surviving? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
‘See ya real soon!