You’ve probably heard that your university years are among the best years of your life - but what can you do to make sure you get the most out of your experience? Embracing opportunities, making friends and studying hard are all part of the university experience, so here’s how you can get the most from your time at university:
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably heading into your first year of university and wondering how you’re going to make friends - but don’t worry!
Arriving at university and not knowing anyone can be a very daunting prospect, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make friends in your first few weeks. Not only will you get to know your flatmates in your student halls, but you’ll also meet people on your university course, during your university freshers’ fair and from joining societies (which we highly recommend!).
Joining a society
There’s plenty of weird and wonderful societies out there for you to get involved with (and if there isn’t something that takes your fancy, you can always start your own!). Head down to your freshers’ fair and societies fair so you can find out a bit more about the societies your university have on offer, and make sure you sign up!
If you join a society, the socials are a must. A social is an event organised by the society which is a great way to meet people outside of your university halls. You’ll certainly have a great time meeting new people who share the same interests as you!
Take advantage of Student discounts
One of the greatest things about being a student at university is that you get to take advantage of hundreds of student offers. There’s plenty of student discount cards and websites, but we definitely recommend that you take advantage of the following student discount services:
- Totum (formally NUS Card)
It costs around £15 a year to get a Totum student discount card - but they offer loads of benefits for students: money off travel, food, entertainment and much more. For a full list of student discounts with an Totum card, you can check it out here.
The other great thing about a Totum card is that it has your university course, an expiry date and photo ID on it, which means that your card will be accepted in pretty much every high street shop which offers student discounts.
UNiDAYS is a great online student discount website which is completely free for students to sign up to. All you need to do is sign up with a valid university email address to gain access to the website, find where you’d like to get a discount and apply the unique discount code when you get to the checkout. You can see all of the discounts here.
Be proactive in your learning
It might sound like bit of an obvious one, but students usually have a tendency of forgetting the importance of learning during your university years - especially in the midst of managing deadlines, moderating your caffeine intake and socialising with friends.
The temptation of skipping university lectures will grow - but you’ve got to resist. You’re at a university to get a degree. You’re spending thousands on your education, so don’t miss out on the opportunity. It’s not cheap - so work out how much each lecture and seminar is costing you - then you’ll be the first one at your 9am lecture on a Monday.
Avoid doing the bare minimum
Being a student isn’t just about showing up to your lectures, or the odd appearance at seminars. Try to attend all of your classes (no matter how early they’re scheduled in for), keep up with your workload and don’t leave assignments until the very last day.
Consider a year abroad or work placement
Work experience is vital for securing your dream graduate job, and a year in industry or studying abroad is an option provided by most universities. Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, from short study tours or a full year abroad. Overseas study gives you the opportunity to travel, experience a different way of living and make new friends from around the globe. Of course, the opportunity gives you that much needed life experience to add onto your CV, something that many employers value from graduates straight out of university.
Search for accommodation before it’s too late!
Finding somewhere to live for your next university year may seem like a long time away, but it will definitely come around quickly. Make sure you’re ahead of the game and starting your property search early to ensure that you find a great place to live before they all get booked up. We recommend considering your property options in October time - and make sure that you’ve secured somewhere to live before January as it’s our busiest time of the year and all of the best and cheapest student properties will be booked up quickly.
If you’re starting your student accommodation search soon, you can take a look at all of the properties we have available on StudentTenant.com here.
And if you’re struggling to find housemates to live with next year, or you would like to meet new people, then check out our Find a Housemate tool here.