Some of this year’s UCBloggers are coming to the end of our time writing for the blog, and so I thought I would give some advice to those of you who will be starting out at UCB in September. I would also recommend going back and reading some of our posts written last August/September, as many of them are specifically university related.
Get to know your flatmates
Having friends in my flat made such a huge difference to my university experience in first year. I could come home from a long day of lectures and practicals and make and eat dinner together with friends and spend the evening with them. I am a very sociable person and enjoy the company of others, and not having constant ‘drama’ in our flat honestly made a massive impact.
Birmingham is such a vibrant and diverse city full of amazing places to explore and experience – it would be a shame to spend three years in a new city and just stay in your comfort zone. Have a read of this blog post “5 fun things to do in Birmingham” to get some inspiration.
Make the most of your time at UCB
It will go by in such a flash! I promise one minute you’re moving in to The Maltings and the next you’ve handed in your dissertation! At university, make sure you use all the resources available to you – the library, subject librarians, hired@UCB, the academic skills centre, your lecturers and so much more (check out this blog post: “How to make the most of your time academically at UCB” for more).
Organise your life
For many of you, university will be the first time that you’ve lived away from home. With university comes so many more responsibilities – from the little things like getting yourself to lectures and cooking to bigger things like accommodation and bills! Having a way to manage these things really reduced my stress levels. I would keep a bullet journal to keep track of what I was doing each month/week with to do lists so I didn’t forget anything. Having these structures in place for the little things means that when it comes to the big things, they feel much more manageable.
Talk if you are struggling
If you are finding your first few weeks at university hard then you are not alone. I found my first weekend in Birmingham really, really difficult. I wanted to go back home so badly but talking to my family and friends really helped. They gave me advice and comfort and I think there is so much truth to the saying ‘ problem shared is a problem halved’.
I hope this was helpful advice and do ask questions in the comments section which I will try and answer.
Until next time,