The Dizzybrunette3 Guide to Starting University: Tips & Rambles

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Hello!

So most of you may know, I've just finished university, I'm not saying I've graduated till I've worn those long capes and I've walked around pretending I'm in Harry Potter. That's not till November so for now, I've finished uni. I managed to get a 2:1 for my Media degree (whooooo not so dizzy now eh ;) ) and the past three years have been a learning curve for me and I'm sure for many others. I've completely changed as a person and I've turned into an adult. Obviously Britney Spears never went to uni with her 'I'm not a girl, not yet a woman' song. Though I don't like calling myself a woman, it just sounds old and so does lady. I hate it when I get called lady at work! Okay moving on. I did write a uni post last year, but I thought I'd do another one, throw in my knowledge of third year and hopefully it will help some of you out who are to uni this year or in your second/third year. Though I'm pretty sure you all know the drill by now! So this is the Dizzybrunette3 guide to uni. It's going to be a long one, so grab a cuppa something you like and a choccy bar and settle down.

The Prepping for Uni: 
When you get your results and check your Ucas to see if you've got accepted to uni, the next few weeks are a bit a of a blur. You're suddenly thrown into buying all your essentials, decorations for your room, a new wardrobe to go out in (oh was that just me?) and well much more. All I can say is make a list, a list is always the way forward with anything, that way you can keep a check of what you're getting and what you still need. I've made a little list below of things I took with me, so have a browse and see if there's anything you've missed. 


My room at Uni, photos, fairy lights and Cheryl galore!

HomeWare
  • Plates ( get an supermarket own basic plate set, I got mine from Asda I think for like a tenner however I've found this one here from Wilkos for £4.56!
  • Most of your fellow flat/house mates will have white plates too, so mark yours underneath so you know they yours. I dotted mine with pink nail varnish, it makes it easier to see which ones yours.  
  • Get some pots and pans, you only need a few, and this set from Asda is all you need. Yeah they will be a little bit shit, but use them for the year and then throw them out. 
  • Cutlery, again you pick this up really cheap, try to get coloured ones as it'll be easier to know which ones are yours, like these ones from Wilko.
  • Cups, get some glasses, again these come super cheap, get some wine glasses, and normal tumblers. 
  • Also whilst we're on the subject of glasses, get some shot glasses! well shot plastic cups, something like these is what you want.  I'll talk about what drink to take in the food and drink bit
  • Get some utensils, again basic is fine,like these from Tesco. 
  • Wooden Spoon, this is essential for cooking! 
  • Mugs, get a set of four. I got some really cute ones from Next and kept them in my room :) These are cute from Asda. 
  • Get a chopping board, again super cheap from supermarkets. 
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Cheese grater, love the ones like this which store the cheese 
  • Knife block.
  • Salt and Pepper  
  • Mini Kettle (keep this in your room, proves a lifesaver when you can't be arsed going to the kitchen but desperately want a pot noodle/cup a soup) 
  • Toastie Maker, this was a life saver for me, quick easy meal and so yummy. Cheese and Ham, or cheese and tuna or cheese and beans are favourites of mine. 
  • Pizza Slicer
  • Ice Cream Scoop
  • Sieve
  • Whisk
  • Peeler 
  • Kitchen Roll
  • Microwavable bowls 
  • Padlock ( you might not need one of these, but some uni's recommend you have one for your kitchen cupboard if you live within a large communal kitchen
  • An Iron (again not essential but you might want one of your own to have) 
  • Towels 
  • Little bin for your bathroom (if you're en suite) and for your room 
  • Hand Wash
  • Cleaning products: washing up liquid, anti bacterial wipes, polish, duster, kitchen spray, febreeze, air freshener (always a good thing to use after having a dominos in your room) Bleach, Loo cleaner. 
  • Toilet Brush if you have an en suite 
  • Floor Towels
  • Bathroom Mat
  • Toilet Roll
  • Tissues
  • Pillows
  • Duvet ( might be worth checking if your uni provide one)
  • Duvet Set: Check these pretty ones out: 
  • I want!
  • Pretty!
  • Teddy bear :) 
  • Mattress Protector
  • Bottom sheet for your bed
  • Storage for your room, I put boxes under my bed and filled them with dry food and toiletries to save space. Try boxes such as these: 
  • LINK 1 
  • LINK 2
  • LINK 3
  • Laundry Basket:
  • Rug for your room?
  • Cushions for your bed to make it a sofa in the day! 
  • Blanket to snuggle up in when you're napping. 
  • Clock 
  • Door Stop or just use a crate of cider like I did to keep your door open!
  • Lamp
  • Fairy Lights 
  • Photos to decorate your room
  • Posters
  • Decorative bits, ornaments, pretty bits and bobs! 
  • Books 
  • Notepad 
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Folders
  • USB Stick (V Important!) 
  • SD Card 
  • Laptop
  • Chargers 
  • Camera 
  • Batteries
  • Stamps 
  • Plastic Wallets 
  • Stapler 
  • Drawing pins 
  • Blu Tac 
  • Pritt Stick
  • Paper Clips 
  • Scissors 
There's a list of things I can think off but this list HERE is amazing and covers everything! So look at this afterwards for info on what to take paperwork wise, etc. It's also great for showing you what clothes to take! 

First Week Food & Drink Essentials
Do your shopping before you go, that way you'll have time to socialise with everyone and not be panicking about going to buy food! 
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Pot Noodles
  • Super Noodles
  • Cup a Soup
  • Tinned Soup 
  • Pasta Sauce/pasta bake 
  • Rice 
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Tinned Tuna 
  • Tinned Tomatoes
  • Crisps
  • Chocolate
  • Biscuits
  • Water 
  • Squash
  • Orange Juice ( for when you get Freshers Flu) 
  • Oven Bake Rolls ( great for storing) 
  • Sliced Ham 
  • Potatoes ( baked potatoes!)
  • Beans 
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Cereal
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Sauces: Ketchup, brown sauce, mayo 
  • Alcohol!! 
  • Get a bottle of something you can shot, for example I bought Apple Sourz and then share it with your flat mates. It's a great ice breaker. 
  • Paracetmol
  • Energy Drinks
  • When you've got your bearings go get some fresh food, 
  • Meat
  • Salad
  • Vegetables 
Surviving That First Week

Essential Freshers Week Sights, Fancy Dress, Alcohol, Bar Crawls and drunk people on the floor!

Freshers week will be one of the best weeks of your life, it's one big party. You'll laugh, probably cry and maybe feel a little bit sick the morning after the bar crawl. Most people love the freedom of being away from home, personally I was a home sick bunny and that first week was very tough. I did however enjoy the nights out. My main tip is if you're feeling homesick is to keep busy! Go shopping in the day, go to the activities that uni provide for you and make as many friends as possible. Although most people may seem like they're happy the majority are just as scared and nervous as you are! Don't just sit in your room, as tempting as this may be it makes things 100x worse! Pop your favourite music on, laugh lots and have fun. The homesickness feeling will pass I promise! I was feeling better within a week and within a month or so I was pretty much used to being away from home. By the Thursday my flat mates were starting to call me a tough cookie, I was the most homesick person ever. So if I can do it, you can. Okay? 

No one knows who you are so just go and have fun. No one knows your past so think of it as a new beginning! Keep your door open so people pop in, like I said the more people you meet the better! Take lots of photos and then add everyone on Facebook! Your facebook will never see so many notifications! If you find you don't get on really well with the people you live with, don't worry, most people tend to build strong friendship groups with the people they don't live with. You may be extra lucky and get a good old group of people though. I was lucky that I got on really well with one of my flat mates. A couple of the others provided many humorous occasions for us to giggle at. 

Try to go to the lectures in the first couple of weeks, they'll be full of info and good luck with the intro of Harvard Referencing. Trust me by your third year, you'll personally want to throw a punch at whoever invented it. After that it's okay to miss the odd lecture here and there. Usually they post the PowerPoint's online so don't stress if you can't keep up with the note taking. 

It's good to be sensible and work out your financing. Just do a quick jot down of how much you need for rent and bills. Then work out what you need a week for food, toiletries etc. Then the rest is yours to spend. Try to not go too much into your overdraft, it'll only be harder to get out of when you leave uni. Pre drink before nights out to save money and value items are your friend when shopping in Tesco. If you manage to get a part time job, you could put that money towards drinking/topshop. I know it sounds a little boring but you'll thank me when it comes to Christmas time and you're not having to eat beans on toast for every meal and you can afford that perfect party dress. 

A selection of photos from my Freshers Week/s!

If you're off to uni and have a boyfriend/girlfriend who is staying at home or going to a different uni, try to not worry too much. Everyone says relationships at uni don't work, well I have two words to say to that. BULL SHIT. Relationships work if you both work hard, it's the same when you see each other all the time. Yes it can be stressful and awful not seeing each other very often but it doesn't mean you just give up. Email, text, phone, Skype! There are so many possibilities to keep in touch and plan when you're seeing each other, it gives you something to look forward to and can plan what you're going to do. Try to put 100% trust into your other half, I'm afraid to say Facebook is not your friend. But try to not go all psycho girlfriend when you see your boy tagged in a picture standing very close to a girl or when a girl posts on his wall.. AND LEAVES KISSES. Get his side of the story first. I was a bit of a pain in the arse for my boyfriend so try to trust them! You'll see what I mean when Freshers Week is over and you're all tired and fluey. 

Now the most important thing is to have fun! You will never have an experience like this again so make the most of it! Work hard but not too hard, the first year is a bit of a doss so have loads of fun and get ready to knuckle down in your second and third year. Try to get work done early, go to tutorials and go to the library. I know, how boring but you'll thank me when you leave with a 2:1.

 Do your best and try to stay positive if you're not feeling it at first. Give it till Christmas and I promise you'll be loving uni life by then. Get used to taking naps and watching daytime telly. Laugh till your tummy hurts, get your tan on, down a shot and party the night away. Oh and keep in contact with your Mum/Dad, they'll be feeling even more lost than you are!

Three years later and it's very odd to think I'm all done with uni! I never thought I'd stick it out, but here I am with a 2:1 degree under my belt. Uni changed me into an adult and it was the best and worst experience of my life! My second and third year weren't like the normal student lifestyle cause I lived with my boyfriend but I had the typical student experience in the first year! I did transfer uni's after my first year but that was for a number of reason and another story for another day. I'm here if any of you have any questions, the best thing to do would be to tweet me on @dizzybrunette3 or email me: dizzybrunette3@gmail.com. Have fun, enjoy yourself and remember you're only young once. 


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3 comments

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