The student summer is nearly over and within the next couple of weeks we will all be packing our bags to return to university. Without the excitement and nerves of starting for the first time, it would be easy to think that this new year has to be same old, same old – but there is no better time than now to decide what changes you want to make in your life as a student. None of us need, or want, to do all of these things at once, but now is the perfect time to look back on the previous year and work out what you want this year to hold.
Be a Healthier Student
Maybe you came home for the summer with a Jeagerbomb belly that wasn’t there when you left, or maybe last year you seemed to spend the whole winter run down because you weren’t eating the right food. Now I have a general rule that if you give up social things like partying or pizza nights for the sake of your diet, you’re doing it wrong; I would rather be a fat person with friends than a lonely skinny person any day. However there are changes you can make to your lifestyle that won’t compromise your university experience, like doing more exercise or cooking better meals for yourself.
Now that first year is behind us, it could be time to have the ‘get your head down’ pep talk with yourself. University is all about working hard and playing hard, but if you think the ratio is going to be similar to first year, think again. Gone are the days where we can amble through the year then save ourselves with intensive revision at the end, so it’s important to be motivated from week 1. Actually, no, being a keen bean in week 1 is the easy part, it’s the ability to still be on the ball after a few weeks that seems to evade most of us.
Make New Friends
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is never too late to make friends at university. Now that everyone is mixing up who they’re living with and new modules shake up who you see on your course, you will be meeting even more new people. Don’t make the mistake of thinking all good friendships have already been formed, there is still plenty of time to make new connections and widen your social circle.
Try New Things
Most of us probably went to the societies fair last year as keen freshers with grand ideas of taking up countless new hobbies (did we, or did we not, all think we were going to become ourselves, but version 2.0, overnight?), yet only managed to keep up one, maybe two, of the endless new things we signed up for. Well, the good news is, it’s not too late to take up something new this year. In fact, it is a much safer bet; we know how much time we have to commit to things, and we’ve had at least a year working out what we’d really like to use our spare time for – whether that is sports, volunteering or a society.
Be Better With Finances
If last year you found yourself slipping in to your overdraft one too many times, or asking the bank of mum and dad for ‘just a bit, just this once’ a little too often, it could be time to start taking money a bit more seriously. Now we’re no longer in halls, rent and bills will become a bigger responsibility, and this year could be the year you sit down to make a dreaded, dare I say it, budget. Even if you were careful with your money last year, but still struggled to have enough, now is the perfect time to look for a part time job – if you start applying before you go you will beat the rush of students looking for work once they arrive.
Good luck everyone in the new university year!