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Answering your Questions – Student Life Agony Aunt

Here’s some top frequently asked questions, with answers!

I’m really missing home, what do I do?

Moving away from home can be really difficult at times, but don’t forget, there will be lots of people who feel the same as you do. One of the best ways to keep your mind off feeling homesick is by keeping yourself busy. Try and plan social activities with your coursemates and housemates, and join a few societies.

I always enjoy calling people from home too – it might be nice to organise a facetime cooking session and meal, or watch a movie together while you call!

What are the best ways to make friends at uni?

  • Join a society
  • Do activities with your housemates e.g. cooking/movie night/walks/drinks/games night
  • Don’t worry about getting talking to people – have a chat with someone in your seminar group or lecture – study groups are great places to meet people too!
  • Have a look at my article about socialising without going ‘out out’

How do I save money?

There are a few really simple things you can do to help yourself save money:

  • Meal plan – this will help you to be able to only buy the food you need, therefore, reducing waste and saving money!
  • Take advantage of student discounts – if you haven’t already, download UniDAYS and Student Beans for online discounts – Also, don’t be afraid to ask about student discounts in shops/resturants/cafes before you pay
  • If you’re using the train quite often, grab yourself a 12 month 16-25 railcard for just £30 – you’ll save 1/3 off train travel when you apply your card when searching for tickets
  • Learn to cook interesting and exciting meals at home rather than spending money on takeaways too often

How can I get extra help from the uni?

More information about these services and contact details can be found HERE

The university offers a range of personal support services. These include:

  • Student Wellbeing Centre
  • Student Support Centre
  • Multifaith Chaplaincy Service
  • Accomodation Office

There is also academic support available:

  • Library Learning Development
  • Student Support Centre
  • Students’ Union Advice Centre
  • English Language Centre
  • Careers & Employability Service
  • ICT Services

How do I keep my uni notes organised?

This depends on what works best for you. First, you can decide what you find the best way to take the notes in the first place – do you use a pen and paper? Do you type them into Microsoft Word? Do you download and edit the PowerPoint for each lecture? Do you have one big notebook for each module? Do you have online notebooks saved in OneNote?

For me, I found using a pen and paper was not the best. I study law so there are lots of notes, and the lectures are very content heavy so I struggled to get everything written down quickly enough. Here is what I now do for lecture notes:

Download lecture slides off BlackBoard before the lecture >> Copy & paste the text/graphics into Word before the lecture >> Use the Word document in the lecture to add my own notes >> After the lecture, copy & paste from Word into OneNote – this allows me to use Ctrl+F to search for things quickly from all my notes from each year of uni!

I don’t know what to cook – how do I think of something different every evening?

Don’t over-complicate it! Cook things you like to eat and try and cook together with your housemates – this will quite often save money and reduce waste, plus it’s a great time to bond with people!

Check out my meal plan article for some ideas and top tips about quick-cooking!

There are also some veggie meal ideas here too 🙂

Are there any tips for easily cleaning my house?

You don’t need to spend lots of money on cleaning products and just the simple things will be good enough. You will be able to share household chores with your housemates, especially in communal areas in your accommodation.

Remember to be careful using cleaning products and always read the label before using it.

  • Thick bleach (39p from Morrisons) – Used for cleaning sinks, toilets & diluted to use on other surfaces if stated on the label
  • Multi-purpose antibacterial wipes (£1 from Morrisons) – These are great for a quick freshen up of most surfaces
  • Antibacterial spray (79p from Morrisons) – Same as the wipes, great on lots of surfaces and often have quite nice scents!
  • Bathroom cleaner spray (79p from Morrisons) – Great for making taps & shower heads sparkly clean & freshen up bathroom tiles
  • Household gloves (£2 from Morrisons) – Always use when using cleaning products – still always need to wash your hands after!

Have you got any advice for staying safe when I’m out and about?

Remember to stay vigilant when you’re out and about. Keep to well-lit locations and try to walk with people you know.

Download personal safety apps like HollyGuard, as these act like a personal safety alarm on your phone. You can also share your location with friends and flatmates via Snapchat maps or Find My Friends. Having useful phone numbers written down on a piece of paper in your pocket may also be useful in case you lose your phone.

Keep an eye out on the SU VP Wellbeing and Community’s social media as there is often free personal safety alarms available to collect for all students!

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