Emma O’Brien, 19, BA Hons Media and Communications (Radio) student

Starting university will probably be one of the most nerve racking things you will ever do. Here are my top tips to get you settled into university life as quickly as possible:

1)    Get used to your surroundings

If you are someone who is new to the city, then make sure that you go out and explore. Try and find your bearings as soon as possible so that you feel more comfortable whilst out and about. As a home student, I had many people approaching me throughout my first year asking me about places to go and places to avoid. So don’t be afraid to ask those of us who are from here about where things are, even if it is just the post office! (I was asked this at least ten times during my first term).

2)    Budget your money

I have no doubt that you will have heard this thousands of times, and as boring as it sounds, budgeting really is key to settling in to university. You are never going to be able to truly enjoy your university experience if you constantly have money problems on your mind. Create a savings account and save up as much as possible to use as a safety net. Make sure that you have enough money for food, clothes and all other necessities to last throughout the year. Besides, if you save and budget right then it could just lead to more fun trips out. Which leads me nicely onto my next point…

3)    Apply for student jobs

I cannot stress how great OpportUNIty is at BCU. They have regular job postings for part time positions for people who attend the university. The great thing about getting a job through them is that they appreciate that you are a student and that your studies come first. So unlike many other jobs, they are completely flexible around your timetable. It is also a great way to make friends as you will be working alongside other students.

4)    Become part of a society

There are so many societies at BCU that it can get a little confusing picking which one to join, but I would definitely recommend that at you at least join one. The worst that could happen is that you don’t enjoy it and so you leave and look for a more suitable society. The Welcome Week Fair is the perfect opportunity to go and see what all of the different societies are about, and talk to their committee members.

5)    Appreciate independent studies

This is something which most people struggle with within their first term at university. Unlike school or college, lecturers will not be there to constantly make sure that you are doing your work. Which means that it is up to you to motivate yourself to meet your deadlines. The best thing you can do whilst studying is to stagger your workload so that it is evenly spread out. Although university is a lot more independent that doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for help. If you feel as if you are struggling or failing to understand an assignment then don’t be afraid to get in touch with your lecturer or degree leader.

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