Five Things I Wish I knew Before University

12 June 2016

Well this time last year me and probably god knows how many more people were waiting for their acceptance letters to one of their chosen universities and now the first year of university is done. It has gone so quickly almost as if I've just blinked and whoosh! Here I am! 

I've enjoyed my first year of university, it's been interesting and chilled (although I expect the next two years may be a little chaotic!) but I feel as if I've gained an experience which is good aside from coming out with comfortable grades. Now I can push myself that extra bit more and continue to put in the effort into my work. Ive gathered a good understanding of my strengths and weaknesses which is very important I've found. I'm slowly learning which media is suitable for me, finding which areas I do well in and now I can go from that point to produce good work in the coming semesters. 

Also I've made some nice new friends too! I'll be honest, the past couple of years since college I've been working and my social life has been awful. Now that I've made some more friends it's been fun, I'm sociable again and it's great! I've missed it so much. 

After my degree I do already have an idea in my mind of what I want to do. Possibly the JET program also known as Japanese Exchange and Teaching as I study Japanese on the side (betcha didn't know that!) and I kind of want to go into teaching within the art and design department here in the UK. Possibly-I mean my plans may change but until then this is the path I am following. 

Then again you never know... anything could happen! 

1. Organization:

One of the first things on my list here is that I had such a big issue when it came to being organised during my first year of uni. Not so much my bedroom, bag or anything. It was mostly silly things like files... since I do Graphic Design it's such a pain to try keeping my files in order because I would do so many drafts, name them lazily with things like "sub title 2" and "sub 22" and when it came to opening files on Adobe programs I would freak out and say "This isn't the right one!" right before the hand in date. So naming things properly is a must, it sounds ridiculous but it happens sadly.

Also towards the end of the year I found making a structure for myself in notebooks helped me a lot. During the first semester I would just ramble in my notes where I never gave myself as much as a list to get me started. It was just jotted down here and there terribly so when I came to typing things up on my analysis I would get all confused and wonder what source was from there because I was too bone-idol during lectures! So keeping your notes neat, simple but yet informative is a must. It always helps.

2. Timing:

It is so important to keep on top of things. Again in your notes just make sure you set goals for yourself each week and try completing them. Try getting as much done in class as you can and also go that extra mile as it all counts in the end. Don't leave things till the last minute because it'll only cause stress and worry.

Trust me, it's happened. I learnt this during my GCSE year!

3. Money Management:

Money... well money doesn't always stay the same. It goes up and it goes down. I recommend if you can getting a part time job on the weekends or evenings depending (try getting work done in your free time and class time so you don't have to panic over finishing it if you have a job!) it'll help so much. I work after university hours and luckily mine finishes at five. But the extra cash is always handy.

Budget! So try shopping for food at cheaper supermarkets and supply yourself with healthy food. It'll help you focus more. Junk food is nice every now and then but make sure you eat enough fruit and vegetables.

If you're in the UK reading this you probably already know about student discount available in certain shops. The main sites you can sign up to in order to use the discount online are both Studentbeans and Myunidays. Signing up is very easy, just pump in your email address given from your place of study and you should get an email to verify your account. Then you can start shopping online half price!

4. Stress: 

I know exams can be difficult while juggling those around along side with relationships, friendships, work ect but self care and well... keeping sane is also very important! Without sleep, chill and good food you won't be able to settle or do well in your subject. 

Again try keeping a little list of what you need to do, break things down and just take time out for yourself even if it's for half an hour. Then continue to revise and study your material or continue your coursework. But honestly try not to get too worked up because lets say even if you don't get the best grade or you fail, if you've got the spare cash and time you can always retake it anyway. Try your best and don't blame yourself. 

Keep calm.

5. Ask for helping:

This is the number one problem for me is that I have always been crap at asking of help off my teachers. From primary school to high school and then in college I gradually began to... I'm quite a shy person and I always felt in school that if I asked then the teacher would be annoyed at me for not knowing or I'll just be deemed as dumb as a door knob! 

But no no... always ask for help. Don't be afraid because the more you ask the more you'll know. It's better to ask and be annoying than it is not knowing.

 I learnt it at work before university actually because working in retail I always had to ask for different things; how machinery worked, what many grams and bla bla... I got there eventually, it's something I overcame really and I felt that it was an achievement. Sounds silly but when you grew up with rubbish confidence like me then those things really do help! 

Now I'll just grab the tutor and bombard her questions ehe! 

I hope this little guide helps if you're going to university reading this or are already a student like me... let's hope we have a bit in common! If you have anything else to add then please comment.


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