With so many undergraduate courses in the UK, it's more important than ever for prospective students to make informed decisions about higher education.
Undergraduate student ambassador Inés shares her top tips on surviving and succeeding at University.
Every new experience comes with its joys and its pitfalls, university bears no exception. However, to make the most of your time at Warwick, here are a few hacks that you can use to avoid some difficult situations. Here’s my survival guide to help guide you through your academic studies!
Grocery shopping is a necessity at university, without your parents you need to equip yourself adequately to handle this new responsibility. To navigate around the issue of budgeting, I would recommend signing up for loyalty cards of stores that you frequently visit loyalty cards have no fees and can help you save a lot of money in the long run. For example, I mostly use Tesco’s Clubcard because I can add it to my Apple Wallet, making it super convenient. Every time I shop, I gain points which offer me special ‘clubcard prices’ and grants me vouchers based on the amount I spend with the card.
Another lesser-known hack is shopping in the ‘reduced to clear’ zones at supermarkets. These are areas with near-to-expiry products at heavily discounted prices. Depending on the time of the day, you may not find anything in the section, but when you do, they save you heaps on your grocery bills.
Your study space
You’ll soon find yourself spending a large portion of your day studying on campus. Choosing your study space is a priority because every space has its own atmosphere. For example, the library is for students looking to concentrate for hours. There is no background noise, but some might find it dull. If you are looking for a little more excitement to study in groups, I would recommend studying at WBS. Your study space must suit your expectations to allow you to work in the right conditions.
Reading your emails
Reading your emails must be a part of your routine! It amazes me how many opportunities I could have missed if I did not pay attention to my emails or course forums. Information ranging from job vacancies to academic information are sent to you on a daily basis, so developing a habit of checking your email every two days is highly beneficial. A hack you could use is to download Microsoft Outlook onto your phone to receive pop-up notifications that you might’ve missed on your laptop.
Stay open to meeting new people
Everyone has this misconception that you only have your first year to make long-lasting friends at university. While this might partly be true, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot make new friends during the remainder of your course. By opening yourself up, you might expand your friendship group and find different people that you can connect with. Personally, in my second year, I decided to live with a girl that I barely knew, fast-forward half a year, she’s now one of my best friends and we’ve decided to stay together in our fourth year too. Each person will have a different journey when it comes to making friends, so do not worry too much and stay open to meeting new people.
Food and drinks
As a first-year, you have the privilege of being able to easily go back to your on-campus accommodation to make a meal. However, when you get to your second or even third year, you typically live off-campus and find yourself eating meals outside. A student-friendly option is the Tesco Meal Deal or even a café meal deal. Even so, continuously purchasing will leave you with a large food bill. A hack would be to double the amount of food you make the night before, so you’re able to bring the leftovers to campus the following day. If you’re an avid coffee drinker like myself, try bringing your own cup, to minimise wastage and save you time and money!
When I first arrived at Warwick, older students advised me to start looking for off-campus accommodation for my second year as soon as possible. Bearing in mind it was only October/November, I thought to myself that it’s way too early to start planning, I’ve only just settled into first-year accommodation. Although, they were not wrong. Landlords reach out to students in early October to ask whether they’re staying another year at the accommodation. If you’re looking for a reasonable price, a great location, and a precise number of rooms, you’ll need to start looking as soon as possible. Some of my friends had no choice but to split up and live with strangers because they delayed their housing situation for so long.
I hope this guide improves your experience at Warwick! I firmly believe that the best teacher is practice and at university, you’ll have plenty of time to make mistakes and learn from them. You’ll find new tips and tricks by yourself that you can look forward to sharing as time passes by.