It’s that time of year again when nervous 17 and 18-year-olds across the country are handed that daunting envelope that basically holds the key to your future. I can’t believe that was a whole five years ago for me. In fact, I still surprise myself when I tell people that I’ve been graduated over a year now.
I knew that the University of Hull was the right choice for me as soon as I stepped foot on campus. The friendly vibe, the beautiful buildings and the cheap beer suited me down to a tee. If you’re considering going through Clearing to find a place that suits you, here’s why you should take a closer look at Hull.
Moving into halls can be daunting, especially for the shy and introverted. Speaking as someone who was shy and introverted and chose to live with 21 other people during her first year at uni, I think I can definitely give out some useful advice to those who are nervous. Here are my top tips for first years who are moving into student accommodation.
So, I graduated last month and I finally feel able to talk about it. It seems weird, but I’ve probably been putting off addressing this huge milestone because it doesn’t quite seem real, or, perhaps rather, I don’t want it to be. I’ve popped down ten things that I’ve learnt during my three years at uni.
Student life is busy. You’re juggling a degree with all these other things; possibly a part-time job or volunteering in a society or team as well as needing time for a social life and your own health. It can be tough. I sometimes find it hard to focus on my day when I have so much on my mind and I find that planning my day out, either the night before or in the morning with my cup of coffee, helps a lot!
Here are my top tips for planning your day as a student and I also made some cute printable daily planners to help you out too. It’s my first time sharing anything like this on my blog so if you have any feedback please let me know in the comments.
1. SET SOME GOALS.
Setting mini goals for the day makes the never ending pile of work seem less daunting. On the planning sheets, I put together I’ve put 3 down as that’s usually how many I can think of. Of course, you could just put the one down if you like. The key to setting goals (especially daily ones) is to keep them achievable – what do they say…Rome wasn’t built in a day?
2. BREAK DOWN YOUR DAY
Breaking down your day allows me to see how much time I actually have. Lectures often take up most of your time at University and although they’re useful and the main reason you’re paying £9000, I often feel like my whole day is taken up by a two-hour lecture. This, of course, isn’t the case, and when I visualise the number of hours in my day I seem to get a lot more work done. That hour you have free between lectures? Fill it with a short library session rather than loitering outside the lecture hall.
Doing a degree means lots and lots of tasks that seem to pile up very quickly. Reading, research, seminar preparation, revision, dissertation, presentation and group work is all part of the fun! Although it’s cliché, writing down and ticking off each task when it’s completed really helps me to keep track.
Back in Secondary school when planners were free, my teachers would always force us to write down our homework. It seems that I forgot this little trick when I walked out of the school gate but it’s something that I’m going to get back in the routine of doing. I even added little ‘due date’ and ‘completed’ sections for y’all.
5. HYDRATE AND EXERCISE
This is definitely something I am trying to improve on. I drink plenty of tea and coffee but it doesn’t really hydrate you that well. Drinking water is famous for improving brain power and it’s just good for you isn’t it? Always take a bottle of the stuff with you to the library! As for exercise, I know, I know, it’s so hard to keep up when you’re in deep with revision and all you want to do is polish off that packet of Rich Tea. BUT taking time out to exercise is proven to make your brain more productive – even if it’s just a brisk walk to the library!
There’s nothing better than finishing Uni work for the evening and making time for a little relaxation before turning the lights off! Making time to plan for tomorrow, moisturise and have a catch up on social media makes me feel organised and ready to take on the next day, however I sometimes lack the motivation or energy to do any of these things. That’s until I thought up this cute idea…
I recently acquired quite a few pairs of Boux Avenue ‘PJs in a Bag’ (Thanks Aaron!) – gorgeous brushed cotton PJs that come in a matching button up pouch! I thought I would use the bag to make a little ‘Bedtime in a Bag’ pack.
You could make this as everyday or as luxury as you like. The one I have made for now is mainly my essentials. I included my planner/journal, some beauty essentials like facewipes, foot/hand cream along with any medication I need to take. By adding a candle or a face mask you could save this little hamper for a Sunday night treat or even come up with your own idea – I think a hangover pack could be brilliant!
I actually did a post about a DIY “Pick-Me-Up Box” that may also give you ideas on what you could include in your bedtime bag!
Wearing matching PJs to your ‘Bedtime in a Bag’ makes it feel like your own girly sleepover. You obviously don’t have to use the Boux Avenue PJs (they aren’t cheap and this isn’t a sponsored post by the way!) – you could use a makeup bag or even make your own out of some awesome patterned fabric and a few buttons! I feel this could actually be a great sleepover idea but I am 20 and live with 4 of my best friends anyway so its a PJ party all day everyday!
I was never homesick in my first year but I knew people who were. Of course, a few candles and posters aren’t going to replace your parents or your cat but I do believe they can go a long way to making a space your own. In most cases, your bedroom at University will be the only space you can truly call your own and it will also be the space you do most things in (sleeping, eating, working, drinking, relaxing) so it is vital that you feel 100% comfortable there.
Everyone has their own taste but I’ve put together a few tips on how to make those peeling magnolia walls and that unidentifiable stain on the carpet feel a little more like home.
Your bed will probably be the biggest space in your room and is probably where you will spend a huge chunk of time (sleeping, eating, working, relaxing etc) so make sure it looks great and is super comfortable. Getting bedding that you love will brighten your room whilst adding cushions, blankets and throws will make it extra cosey and comfy during the winter months. Supermarkets have really upped their homeware game at the moment, and Primark has some great bedding too (featured in the Picture below).
In fact places like Primark, Supermarkets and Argos are the best places to go for University essentials. Many of the stuff won’t survive your first year so keep it cheap and cheerful!
One word. Posters. Even if you feel you have outgrown covering your walls in copious amounts of posters you may find at Uni that a few here and there will make your room feel a lot more welcoming. In my first year, I had a couple of batman posters, along with a vintage world map and my beloved ‘We Can Do It’ poster! I’m pretty sure most unis will have a poster sale in Freshers’ week so be sure to pay it a visit.
Photos are a really great way of dealing with the big move too! Be sure to take some photos of your friends and family back home with you to stick on the walls in your new room. You can add photos of your new adventures throughout the year too. There are so many printing sites online nowadays such as Snapfish, Freeprints and Vistaprint and often they’ll have great offers and deals when you sign up! Pinterest is full of great and cheap ways to display your memories – dedicate a whole wall to your photos, peg them up on bits of string or make a ‘photo heart’!
Fairy lights are one of my favourite ways to make a room feel cosey. They are also so easy to get hold of never mind inexpensive. Primark is always selling super cute battery operated ones (just make sure you’re stocked up on batteries!) and they’re a great way to decorate a desk or a headboard. I personally love my Flamingo Party Lights from Dotcomgiftshop and Sass and Belle have some lovely Rose Garland Lights in stock at the moment.
Desk lamps are pretty essential for all those late night essay writing sessions but it doesn’t mean they can’t look nice! Wilkos have desk lamps in a range of bright colours for only £4.
Obviously keep space in mind but the odd candle here and there takes a student room from a student room to a student home! Again all supermarkets and places like Primark sell lovely candles. I also have this great device called an ‘oil burner’ that you put a tealight in burn wax melts I have some lovely fragrances from Yankee and Bomb Cosmetics (you can pick one up from Bomb Cosmetics themselves or have a hunt around online for cheaper deals, I think I got mine from B&M or Poundland.