When you first found out that you were going to university, you may have read all of the books, researched every aspect and looked at all of the websites to prepare yourself for this new start in life. However, it doesn’t matter how much you prepare you will make at least one bad choice at university, and this is completely natural, and here are the most popular bad choices that every student makes their degree and (As an added bonus) what not to do with your student loan.
There will be a time when you will go head first into a decision, and this could be when looking for a student house in the second year, spending money or not planning a night out, or doing something really stupid, like not reading into the Terms and Conditions and applying for a credit card. All of these will have consequences, and some worse than most, but the most important thing to learn is, if this decision is more long-term and short-term, how will it affect you? If you go ahead without thinking it through you may find that you will have a house with no heating, get stranded on a night out with no way home, or even paying the interest off of your credit card for years.
Students can find themselves strapped for cash, unsure about food, or even too lazy to feed themselves properly. And this is very dangerous, as not eating enough and of the right foods can lead to a bad spiral, such as malnourishment, fainting and feeling really ill. It can also be that if you are not the most talented chef in the world, and could end up doing something silly like not cooking chicken properly and getting food poisoning. Research and read about food and invest in a student cookbook before you go to university as it will be one of the best things you’ll ever buy. Students don’t have a large budget and buying groceries always proves less costly than takeaways – even if it is quicker and less hassle!
It can be tempting to treat yourself to that new outfit, buy that extra takeaway, or buy another round because you want to stay out and your friends don’t have the money but don’t let yourself go short! Budgeting is the hardest part of adjusting to student life and once you do get the hang of it – it will make everything go as smoothly as possible. The biggest area that students waste their money is drinking, then takeaways and then personal buys – which will be things that you don’t need but you want. Resisting the urge will save you a lot of grief later, and a lot of money!
Everyone gets excited when they receive their first reading list in the post, and when you open yours, you convince yourself it is a great investment and that you will read the books all the time. Trust us, you won’t. Recommended reading is what it says on the tin; recommended. Having one or two off of the list will help you as it is general and can give you an idea of what basics to learn before your classes, but you will find that your university library will stock the titles, and in some cases, they may never be referenced during the entire course at all! If you really want to buy the textbooks then advise secondhand or going halves with a friend as the cost can be heartbreaking!
So, it might be your friend’s birthday or even payday for student loans, or just because it is a great night out that has been planned out for months. Although all of this reasons seem like they are justifying going out before a morning lecture – don’t make a habit of it. Universities won’t punish students for missing a lecture or two, but if you never turn up for your Wednesday lecture then it will notice and flag up. Furthermore, are you really comfortable paying up to £9,000 a year and missing out this chunk of your education which you are paying for? Keep your head in the right place and make sure you attend your seminars, classes and lectures.
University is different than any other aspect of any person’s life, and even though you can know how others handled it, it will be a completely different experience for each individual, and this means that you will make mistakes, there will be freshers week regrets and some will be the same and others will be completely new. The important thing is to not let these mistakes get you down, seek advice, fix the problem and learn from it, as they say, university is full of learning!
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