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Best of: Advice I’d give my first year self

First year can be daunting, especially if you’ve never lived away from home before or studied independently. Our students share their top tips for being a first year student:

“Learn to manage your time” Jess, 2nd year Creative Advertising

Time management is an essential skill you need to master in your first term, especially if you also have extra curricular commitments, or a job alongside your studies.

“Don’t stress yourself out” Kathryn, 2nd year Drama & English

It’s completely unreasonable to be working yourself to the bone and potentially burning out over one year in your degree – there’s still two more to go!

Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t be thinking that the work will do itself, because you do still need to work hard; if not from what I’ve heard, second year will slap you right in the face.

Do your best. Still work hard, but don’t be panicking because other things are important too. It is not the most important thing, your mental health is. Keep that in mind!

Join a society” Hannah, Conservation of Historical Artefacts (MA)

You will hear this a lot but all work and no play can lead to unwanted stress. Join a society –  it will help you meet like-minded people, but also give you a place to get away from studying when you need a break. It can also show employers the kind of person you are, and help you stand out from the crowd. It also displays that you’re proactive and good at working in a team. However, be careful you don’t over-commit to too many groups. At the end of the day, you need to have time for studying and relaxing too.

“Learn to budget” Shannon, 3rd year Journalism

I think I’d tell myself to set a spending limit per week to prevent falling into the dreaded overdraft and to keep track of where my money is going, like unused subscriptions, gym memberships when the last time you went was your induction and Domino’s pizzas. It’s slightly depressing having to ask every cashier “do you have student discounts?” but every penny saved means more in your pocket.

“Take time for yourself” Tash, 2nd year English

Set aside a good amount of time, maybe one night every week, or even a couple of hours before you go to bed every night, where you give yourself a proper break – both from uni work and these new responsibilities. Giving yourself a dedicated amount of time where you can check in with how you’re feeling and properly decompress will get you into the right head-space to approach life more rested and more positively.

First year is going to be a big learning curve, but also super exciting and fun! Just make sure you balance your workload and nights out…

Please note: This content was created prior to Coronavirus, and some things might be different due to current laws and restrictions. Please refer to Government advice and the University of Lincoln for the latest information.