University: Avoiding My Mistakes


A lot of bloggers on my twitter feed have been tweeting about starting a new adventure by going off to university (yay! congrats!) or returning students are making their way back over the course of this month. I went to uni and did first year 3 times! Not because I failed, but because I struggled with mental health at the time which ultimately led to me quitting and deciding uni isn't for me. But because I experienced first year 3 times, I feel as though I have a lot of insight for you new starters and here are a few pointers to bare in mind throughout your first year. 


This is not your usual beginning university advice. This is what I wish I knew before I went to uni and hopefully you can learn from the mistakes I made rather than making them yourselves. Don''t get me wrong, your uni life will be fantastic! You'll make new friends, learn new skills and gain your sense of self but you can also avoid mistakes that I made. 

1. Facebook Groups
Join Facebook Groups like Fresher’s or accommodation pages to make friends. You will get to know more people in your halls this way and know when all of the best events are. Also join a society like a sport or hobby - if they don't have one you like then petition to make a new one like a blogging society! That'd be pretty cool.

2. Budget 
Don’t over estimate your budget when it comes to buying ‘new stuff’ for your new accommodation – save your pennies – you will need them! Living off £20 a week before your student loan comes in is not fun. Your savings are very important to look after. You need pots, pans and plates but you don’t need to break the bank buying them. Wilkinson’s will do you just fine, a lot of it will be broken anyway!

3. Clean vs Dirty
Most students are spreading their wings for the first time and are no longer being looked after by their parents. Be prepared as there are 2 kinds of students – the tidy and the messy. You will almost definitely have that one flat mate that does not wash up after themselves and leaves their plates to go mouldy. It’s gross right? But it happens and don’t do it for them as they won’t ever change if you do.

4. Chores
Group chores should be shared evenly like taking the rubbish out, cleaning a shared toilet etc. Once you have got to know one another a bit, establish some ground rules, write up a chore chart and stick it on the fridge – this will save you from a lot of arguments.

5. Overdrafts
I took out an overdraft and extended it in year 2. I wish I hadn’t and I wish I was more careful with money as I’m struggling to pay it off now when I have a full time job but I also have more responsibilities like a car, insurance, board etc. I did not need that overdraft, I should have just been more careful with money.

6. Night's Out
Play hard but study even harder. I made the mistake in my first week of uni and went crazy in Fresher’s week. This set me up for the rest of the term to fail as I just did not concentrate hard enough. I passed my modules yes but your first year is the foundation of your degree. If you do well in your first year then this sets you up to do well for the other couple of years.

7. Visit Home
Going home is really important and I wish I did this more. I loved my new found independence but I wish I leant on my parents more for emotional support. You can take your washing home, be fed a Sunday roast and have some much needed TLC. Seriously, lean on your family.

8. One Night Stands
It’s your choice if you want to. If i'm being honest here, I experienced a few one night stands. They can be really fun at the time but I did regret the majority of them as they were off the back of drunken nights out and I tended to make decisions I would not normally make whilst sober I tell you that! They're not all bad, but just remember to use protection! By that I mean condoms, not just birth control - nobody wants STI's. 

9. Lectures and Seminars
Go to your lectures and be on time. Lecturers will make you look stupid if you’re late or just won’t let you in. If you’re late for a genuine reason like traffic – always apologise as you’re disrupting people’s education that they’ve paid a lot of money for. This isn’t school any more. You don’t have to be there. You chose uni because you wanted to go. Also do the work set for your seminars - we once had a lecturer cancel a seminar because most of the students had not done the reading/work and his point was there is nothing for us to discuss. 

10. Get Organised
Be organised. You're looking after yourself now. Make sure you know what you're spending your money on, where your lecture notes are, know when you're working if you have a job and know when and where your lectures/seminars are. 

I made some mistakes at university and have learnt a lot from them. It has made me grow as person and realise where I want to be and what I want out of life. I could write a longer list but I think I've covered the main pointers. University is about furthering your education and becoming an independent young adult. Make new friends, explore new places, learn new skills and above all enjoy it as you'll miss it when it's gone. 

If you've been to University and have any additional pointers for Freshers, please let me know in the comments below. I'm sure new starters would love some more handy tips and pointers. 

Love Amber xx

14 comments

  1. Great tips, I'm starting a uni course but staying at home - I can definitely still use some of this advise though! Thank you so much for sharing. xx

    Kate | www.paintingoctober.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks. Ah yeah, that may make things easier on you as you have family support :)

      Amber xx

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  2. Such good tips for starting or going back to uni! I'm going in to 3rd year of my degree, luckily I live at home I don't know how I would have managed other wise..organisation in't really my strong point haha! XX

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    1. Haha, some students may get lucky and get placed with the perfect housemates but it's not always breezy. I moved home in my final year and found family support was important.

      Amber xx

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  3. Going to forward this to my friends who are starting uni next week! Even though I'm not going to university myself, this will definitely help them out (especially the budget point!) Great post lovely X

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    1. Thank you Becca, I'm glad I can be of help :)

      Amber xx

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  4. I completely agree with the overdraft advice! I'm glad I'm not the only one struggling to pay it off! x

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    1. Haha yeah overdrafts suckkkkk :(

      Amber xx

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  5. Great post! I'm going to keep this handy for my friend who's starting this year x

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    1. Thank you Vanisha, I'm glad I could be of help!

      Amber xx

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  6. Great tips! Im going to uni next year and this is really helpful!

    Darriyan♡ | www.darriyancateland.co.uk

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    1. Thanks very much Darriyan! I'm glad I could give you a little insight before you go :)

      Amber xx

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  7. I SO regret taking an overdraft too. As soon as it's paid off I'm cancelling it completely. It's so difficult to get out of them which is something that isn't taught at high school.

    Abigail Alice x

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    1. It is the bane of my life! Haha. Wish it would just pay itself off! Glad I'm not the only one.

      Amber xx

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