A survival guide to living as a student

Moving out of home and into accommodation with people your own age means you can eat what you like, come and go as you please, not shower for days – whatever takes your fancy. But these freedoms come at a cost, and that’s the responsibility attached to them. What might seem like a fun and liberating change from the norm quickly begins to look like exactly what we were warned about as kids, and the reasons for the rules and restrictions we were brought up on become apparent. Here are a few dos and, more importantly, don’ts of living away from home with other students. Presenting our student survival guide:

Don’t sleep with your housemates

You would think that meeting a bunch of attractive people and living with them seems like a great opportunity to start adventuring with your new sense of freedom, but have you ever heard of not sh*tting where you eat? The thing is, as soon as your relationship with any of your housemates becomes romantic or sexual, there’s no turning back.

This is a must rule to adhere to in our student survival guide. Complications will definitely arise, and if it was a drunken decision during Fresher’s Week, then it will come back to bite you for the rest of the year. Not only that, but it will create rifts within the flat; dynamics will change between everyone and what started out as some harmless fun can quickly develop into a living hell.

Create some kind of ‘routine’

As students, I think one of the most wonderful traits we have is the ability to create a sturdy plan for the night at 10 pm, or go for a quick coffee and end up being talked into a Salsa dancing class, or get horrifically lost intentionally with your friends just to see what happens. We’re spontaneous, and it’s great, but there needs to be at least a faint sense of routine underlying your uni life. .

Even if it’s waking up or eating your dinner at the same time most days – as long as there is something underpinning that wild and frivolous lifestyle you’re probably taking part in, you’ll have an anchor to reality which makes it easier to organise your thoughts, your work, and your social life.

Don’t drink on a school night, kids

You won’t stick to this, I can tell you now, but you need to keep in mind that there is a very well thought-out purpose to not drinking midweek. Many universities keep Wednesdays as sports nights, and you’ll get to know the best nights of the week for various clubs in your area, but try your very hardest not to make a habit of midweek drinking, because it will destroy any progress you make towards your routine.

A night out isn’t just consuming a bit too much alcohol, you’ll almost certainly be trekking from club to club to pizza place, not only consuming your entire body weight in takeaway but also draining yourself physically and mentally, so if you can save yourself for the weekend, I’d strongly advise it.

3 things to stay on top of daily:

Fitness: Exercise, work out, join a sports team. You don’t have to tirelessly do pushups until your arms are jelly, just make sure you do a little physical activity every day that raises your heart rate. Make your walk to uni brisk, or cycle!

Finances: Every day you should be making a step towards making some money. I’m not saying you should be raking in the stacks while you’re at uni, but you should definitely do something that will contribute to your financial situation in the short term or the long term. You could apply for a part-time job or an internship, or you could sign up for a research study; whatever it is, it’s a good habit to keep. It’s always good to adopt a minimalist approach and not hoard during your time at uni.

Academia: Again, you don’t have to spend hours in the library every day, but just try to do at least an hour per day of something related to your course. It doesn’t feel like much when you’re doing it, but it will amount to loads by the time exams roll around.

Hopefully, you can take some lessons away before they’re learnt the hard way; but after all, uni is about learning, so don’t fret about the mistakes you make because they will always teach you something.

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