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Published on August 26th, 2014 | by voxx

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Back To School

As the days get a little chillier and the leaves start to fall it can only mean autumn is well on its way, bringing with it a new start for many of those starting their first year at university.

Whether you chose to move away to study, or are staying a little closer to home, adjusting to a more independent way of learning can be a challenge. As the nightmares of college exams begin to fade, new anxieties can take their place. But not to fear, my top five tips for surviving your first university term are here….

1. Get a diary

There will be so much going on in the first few weeks of freshers, with everything from library inductions to pub-crawls demanding your time. You can never do everything that catches your eye, so prioritise and plan ahead – skills which come in useful for planning work around your deadlines later in the term!

2. Be prepared

Having the right survival kit is crucial. Getting your books sorted before the term starts means one less thing to worry about, and for those leaving home and living in halls, there are lots of great checklists available online of what you need to pack. My top three essentials you may forget are: a tin opener (or you will starve), an alarm clock (for when your phone dies the night before a 9am lecture) and any fancy-dress items you can find (different themes often crop up in the first few weeks).

3. Care for your piggy bank

Whilst exercising your student discount card can feel like you are making killer savings, having a budget (and sticking to it!) is the key to having enough dosh left at the end of term. You could keep a notebook of your spending, or take a look at lots of the budgeting apps available online; there is no excuse for not being a savvy shopper!

4. Take notes

You can’t do this in if you are asleep in a lecture. Often universities upload lecture notes to their online portals, but you won’t stress if you get used to good note-taking early on. After the first month it’s a good idea to go through your work to make sure you haven’t missed anything that may come up in your exam or essay question.

5. Be balanced

Too many late nights in the library make a poor fresher sleepy and sad, yet no studying at all can leave you failing and mad. Get a good work-life balance, and stay in touch with the outside world – although this doesn’t mean checking social media in a seminar. You only get one shot, so make the most of it!

- Laura Hill


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