By Ryan Duffy

University gives you some of the best years of your life. You will make friends and memories that last a lifetime. When you first start at university you are essentially stepping in to new territory, it is likely to be a city or town you have never been to before and you will be meeting lots of new people. Here are some things to know if you are a student.

You Should Try to Introduce Yourself to as Many People as You Can

This can seem like a bit of a daunting task especially if you’re generally more quiet, but when you first start everyone is the in the same position as you are and everyone will be welcoming when you talk to them. You won’t have to go out of your way to introduce yourself either, if you live in halls or are house sharing you will meet these people straight away. You will also meet a lot of people at your induction lectures and this is a great way to meet friends because you are likely to have some common interests. Universities often help with this as well by having an ‘ice-breaker’ in your first session as a way for you to introduce yourself to people.

You Will Have to Budget

When you get your first student loan instalment it is probably the biggest payment you have ever had in to your account and the temptation will be there to spend as much of it as you can. So the advice recommended is to plan how much you can afford to spend per day. This is better than budgeting weekly because you may end up spending the majority of it within the first few days. By budgeting daily, you will be encouraged to not spend as much one day so you have more left over for the weekend. UCAS offer a budgeting calculator that can be very helpful.

Know Your Student Tenancy Rights

This is a very exciting moment as you’re probably living away from home for the first time and getting your first place to live with friends. Sadly, there are landlords out there that will want to take advantage of this. They can do this by adding clauses in the contract that can allow them to increase the amount you have to pay and one of the last things you want is to have to be contacting a conveyancing solicitors to get your problem sorted. So make sure you read through your contract thoroughly to avoid this type of issue.

Your Cooking Skills Will Be Tested

If you’re a great cook, you will probably enjoy all the cooking you can do for yourself instead of relying on your parents to cook for you. However, if you aren’t so great on the stove then you will probably rely a lot on ready meals and super noodles. But believe me, there comes a point when you can’t stand the sight of them anymore, and you will be forced to venture towards using all of the pots and pans your mum bought for you. If you want some easy recipes then the BBC food website is the best place to look.

Try and Organise Your Time

With the majority of courses, you are probably studying a few different units alongside each other. This means that you will be given a lot of different assignments and exams to study for. To ensure that you do not become bombarded by all of these, the best advice would be to make yourself a timetable so you can spend an equal amount of time on each unit. Because by spending too much time on one unit you can hinder your chances of achieving a high grade on another unit.

Ryan Duffy is a former student and current freelance journalist.

Come on Open University students don’t tell me that you’re beyond ripping open a packet of Super Noodles! What advice would you give current or future students? Please LIKE/SHARE/TWEET or leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you. This social currency helps us to grow and improve the value we are able to provide for OU students.

The Open University study guide is now available! Click on this image to find out more.

The Open University study guide is now available! Click on this image to find out more.