Okay, let’s be honest. Waking up the first day of living on your own is SURREAL! I know it isn’t just me (hopefully ;P). This crazy new chapter of your life is totally different than anything you’ve ever experienced and you find yourself thinking “Now what?”. So how do you handle the newfound independence that comes with being a university student?
You are responsible for yourself now
My first and probably most important tip for you is not to neglect yourself! Don’t stay in your room, and just drown in the sea of your workload! Be a part of the University’s community and societies, find new friends and make some new memories (this may not apply for this year because of covid, but you can still experience new things!). Secondly, please don’t create a miniature of Pisa’s tower from plates and mugs on your desk! Keep your space clean and have at least a day of “thorough cleaning”! Last but not least, if you feel like you need a break then take it! It’s good to pamper yourself from time to time! Stay safe and be responsible!
Give yourself time to adjust
We are all in this together really! I remember watching all these friendly and relaxed faces around campus socializing while I was rushing to the nearest bank because my card was declined again. I was thinking “Am I the only one that has trouble with being an adult?”. I didn’t know it then but the answer is no, you are not alone. Being nervous is completely normal and you need to give yourself some time to get used to your new lifestyle. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t manage to keep the balance between academics, social life and house work! Everything will come together!
If you still think that everything is too much for you, don’t hesitate to ask for help!
Bond with your roommates (if you do have ones)
You don’t have to become best friends with your roommates (I certainly didn’t) but it will definitely make your life easier if you at least try to bond with them! Remember that roommates are a great way to keep homesickness away! You can have regular flat meetings, movie or board games nights, dinners or whatever activity will help you to get to know them better! However, even if you can’t create a friendship with your roommates, it is still important that you communicate and respect the different schedules and habits that’s each of you may have!
Stay organized! Stay organized! Stay organized!
You are probably sick of hearing this, but organization IS the key! Scheduling your... well scheduling your life, basically, is one of the best time management tools and that means that you need to grab yourself a planner (can be paper or digital) and start by scribbling down all of your academic responsibilities. Once you have this sorted out you can proceed to plan personal responsibilities, social engagements etc. Soon, you’ll find yourself being on top of the whole “adulting situation”.
You can also see this blog post on staying organized at uni for more tips.
Stick to your budget!
For the first month, avoiding random expenses and staying on budget was a tough one for me (and coffee on campus is to blame)! Seriously, budgeting is absolutely vital if you don’t want to find yourself with 10£ left in your bank account. The best advice that I can give you is to split your income and create a weekly budget for different categories, such as rent, bills, groceries, nights out, hobbies etc. You should also start planning your weekly meals to avoid spontaneous trips to the supermarket for frozen pizza (we’ve all been there, we learn from our mistakes). Lastly, keep an eye for student discounts because apparently, there are A LOT!
I hope you found these tips useful! Stay safe and enjoy your time at University of Aberdeen!