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Things I wish I Had Known

Student Life

Things I Wish I’d Known…

The academic year is drawing to a close (technically the first semester for me), and things are slowly but surely wrapping up here for the summer. They always say hindsight’s 20/20, so it’s natural to reflect back on the few months that have just passed. I feel like I should mention that none of these are particularly game-changing, and I don’t think things would be much different had I known them beforehand, which probably speaks to the great experience I’ve had so far regardless J That being said, maybe these little titbits will come in useful for other students who are thinking of pursuing a similar experience.

Semesters modules are reversed. Not really a big deal, but as someone starting in January and also someone who likes to try and at least prepare a little (the whole ‘new field’ thing after all) I wasn’t sure if I’d be doing the normal semester one modules first, or later in the year, or maybe even in the summer (it can vary between different places).

Turns out I would do the semester two modules first (with the other September starters), and I will be doing the semester one modules in September after the summer. This makes sense, for a smaller cohort it makes more sense to simply join the others. At least I can prepare accordingly for September now J

Sleeping is useful. Well, this is self-explanatory and you would think I’d have learned this after three years of undergrad, but apparently not. Sleeping took a little bit of a backseat on more than a few occasions, especially coming up towards deadlines (make of that what you will). Although this was indeed helpful in helping me get stuff done, my sleep schedule suffered greatly and it all inevitably caught up to me some days.

Sometimes you can work and concentrate much better when you’ve had 8-9 hours of sleep the night before and you’re all fully recharged. As for me, I’m hoping to completely reset my sleep pattern when I get home for the summer.

Always keep your student ID on you. As a student, you should be looking to save money at every available opportunity, and there’s no shame in that. Fortunately, there are places that offer student discounts and special student deals, so carrying your student ID with you can help you take advantage of these whenever you might be out. On a similar note, there are some apps that can also help, like Unidays. Definitely worth checking out.

Just be you! If you’re like me and starting a postgraduate degree at a new university, then you probably don’t anyone there. If you’re especially like me and moving across the country to a new city, then you probably don’t know anyone at all. On the flip side, no one’s going to know you or care about where you’ve come from or whatever happened ages ago. This is the opportunity to reinvent yourself and let yourself be… just you.

You don’t need anyone’s permission to be happy, and you don’t need to believe that you should be having a ‘traditional’ university experience filled with alcohol and partying every night in order to have fun. If something is supposed to be ‘fun’ but is just stressing you out, then just cut it out of your life. You’ll be so much happier.

Getting stuck in early will make uni life so much easier. I guess this kinda ties into the sleep one, but getting started with assignments, or simply just engaging with them early in the semester when you’ve given them will help immensely later on. Not only are you spreading the work out over the term like you should be doing, but you’re more likely to retain the information you get at the start, which will help you complete the work. Often you might see people leaving all the work until the last week or two and then panic about something your lecturer already answered in the first two weeks. You can help yourself avoid this stress just by reading the assignment brief and related materials at the start of the semester.

You really don’t need to pack so much. I guess this varies from person to person, but personally, I can’t understand why I packed so much stuff. If you read my post before about journeying north, you’ll remember that my suitcase was basically on the verge of exploding. I think I took one too many hoodies (I’ve only worn a few of them) and I should’ve known I could just wash my clothes instead of bringing a whole bunch (I suppose you could do the opposite and bring more clothes if you want to avoid paying for the launderette too often).

I’ll be packing soon for when I head home and let’s just say… I’m not exactly looking forward to it L

Just because your catered accommodation has cake for dessert every day, doesn’t mean you have to have cake every day. I mean, this is debatable though. Do I regret eating a lot of cake? Yes, probably. Would I do it again? Yes, probably.

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