Dear Freshers, From a Postgrad

It’s official, summer is well and truly over! October is coming to an end, autumn is fully settling in with its warm fires and orange trees, and you’ve started to settle down in your university halls. You’ve figured out the good places to eat, get coffee, and go out. You're learning the ropes, finding your feet, nestling in, and you’re glad the worst bit is over: that first day where you don't really know anybody or where anything is. You can take a big sigh of relief, all that is all done and dusted. 

 

 

However, the next few months are far from plain sailing I’m afraid to say! From someone who learned a lot of lessons during her first year of uni (lessons she really wished she’d known before!), this article is going to help you through the coming months, so you go into 2020 feeling strong and happy in your place here at Nottingham. 

 

The first big challenge you guys are going to have to face, and soon, is living arrangements for next year. Housemates for your second year need to be tried and tested, except, here’s the fun part you can’t test them, you just have to hope and pray you’re still mates when it actually comes to living with them in eleven months’ time. The friends you make in the first month are most likely the people you’re going to decide to live with, because late November/ early December is when you need to start looking.

 

Top tip from me: take your time really getting to know people between now and December. Spend loads of time with the mates you’ve already made, but also keep socialising with new people. Keep going to societies you're interested in, sports clubs you've been wanting to try, and course socials. It’s important you don't just settle with your hall mates out of laziness.Make sure you have really been as sociable as you possibly can so you really know all your options. Remember, you haven’t known anybody that long yet and you never know what you’re going to learn about someone. So keep your options open, mind positive, and be really energetic in your search for a good social life. You’ll be thankful later on!

 

The second biggest part of first year for me was budgeting. The day those sweet, sweet student loans drop is a very good day indeed. The basket on the PLT website can be checked out- free next day delivery, it'd be rude not to! The adidas trainers you've been wanting all summer - ready to be delivered next week. New notebook? Pens? Avocado style coffee flask? Don’t mind if I do! Lunch out? Sure, why not! And the list goes on.

 

 

Here are a couple of pointers that have helped me in recent years to keep my money a bit longer and to save some of it for the future. You never know when you're going to need it. Firstly, give yourself a weekly budget. Work out when your next loan is in, when wages come in, any source of income you have, jot it in your diary, and work out exactly how much you can spend in a week. Secondly, at the end of each day, note down what you’ve spent so you’re always aware of exactly how much money you have. My worst habit was hiding from my bank account and only realising I had gone too far when my card got declined. Always a good feeling. So keep in the loop with your bank account… in this case, distance does not make the heart grow fonder.

 

And that’s all from me! Best of luck with this year everyone, and keep an eye out for my pieces for Her Campus Nottingham this year. I’ll be writing features articles once a fortnight for you all, and I can’t wait to see what the year has in store for us all!