Top tips for students new to BNU
Starting university can generate a wide range of emotions which is very normal – it’s a brand new start, a new location, new accommodation, new people and a new life. I remember driving through the gates of my accommodation in the first year, I was extremely nervous but excited to get started. Going through the first year I picked up a lot of little lessons, so here are my top 10 tips for being a new student that I want to share with you!
Top tip 10: Don't pack too much!
Packing: the moment that makes it real! When packing your belongings for university you’ll probably ask yourself, “what do I need?”. I’ve been there and like most people I ended up packing everything. But you honestly don’t need to. Here is a small list of essentials that you’ll need:
- Clothing - I would recommend looking at the seasons, if you're moving in during the Autumn or Winter time, don’t bring loads of summer clothing.
- Mobile phone & charger
- Photo ID (passport, driving licence, Totum card or uni ID card)
- If you’re bring a laptop or computer device don’t forget the charger!
- Stationery for your university work
- Your own cutlery and crockery
- Bedding and towels
- A laundry basket and products to use for laundry
- A couple of sentimental items (e.g. photos of your family & friends)
Top tip 9: Know your limit on drinking...
We all like to let loose and have a bit of fun, but you have to know when it goes beyond fun. Trust me you don’t want to be the one with the biggest hangover in a 9am lecture, or the one who misses a class! When you start losing control, this should be a clear sign to slow down.
Top tip 8: Explore the area!
You’re going to be spending the next 3-4 years of your life in this area, so get to know it! Look up the location, visit if possible, or take a look around if you attend an open day. At Bucks you can talk to our students and staff online. Good questions to ask would be:
- What are the local shops like?
- What’s entertainment in the area like (e.g. cinemas)?
- What is the nightlife like?
- How safe is the area?
- What would you recommend doing as a student in this area?
Once you move there, remember to keep looking around and get to know the place. You may find a new favourite coffee shop or park!
Top tip 7: Find a balance of social life, work and studying!
Being a fresher can be so much fun, but it’s also important to remember to keep a balance. Make a schedule or weekly list and include your social, studying and work times. This can help you make the most of your time and will ensure you get everything done. There are many other ways to keep a balanced life and if you are struggling to find this you can also head over to the Student Centre to get more advice and support.
Top tip 6: Find your University's chat rooms.
Most universities will have different groups on social media so you can get contact and meet people who you’ll be living with and on the same course as you. You’ll most likely find these on their main social media pages which are worth joining so you can get an insight of who you could be living and working with. It’ll also help you make new friends more quickly.
Top tip 5: Talk to everyone!
When you move into your new flat, and on the first day of class, try to chat to as many people as you can, although I know it can be nerve wracking! This way you’ll be able to make friends more easily in and outside of class. One of the ways to do this is by spending time in the communal areas or just saying hello and offering to help others move in.
Top tip 4: There's no such thing as a silly question
Ask questions! Remember you’re all in the same boat, you may even have some of the same questions, so remember you’re not alone and no question is silly. Freshers helpers are there to help, so whether your question is about what shops are around or where a certain lecture room is, don’t hesitate to ask.
Top tip 3: Join Societies
Along with your course and study, you may have hobbies or even want to make new ones - joining a Students' Union society is the best way to explore your interests. It’s another great way to meet new people outside of your course and helps you de-stress and have fun. At Bucks, societies and clubs are completely free thanks to the Big Deal.
Top tip 2: Plan finances/budget
Money can be a worry for everyone. At Bucks there is plenty of support to help you, just drop into Student Services and chat to the team there. Budgeting can be a great option as each week you’ll know what you have to spend. Along with this, you can also get a part-time job in one of the many shops around campus, at the students’ union bar or you could even become a Student Ambassador!
Top tip 1: Most importantly, be yourself!
You’ll have many different emotions when you start uni but everyone will be feeling the same. So, remember even in times that scare you, be yourself. It’s so important because it will help you find your sort of people who will become lifelong friends.
I hope these top ten tips help you find your feet at the start of your university journey.