MY 4 UNI REGRETS – MELISSA SMIKLE


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Hey guys, Happy September. I hope this is going to be a positive month for you all. Can we all agree that time is zooming past so quickly? Christmas is literally around the corner. Anyway, as a recent graduate, I realised that most goals that I wanted to achieve whilst at university did not go to plan. I kept postponing things thinking, ‘oh yeah, I’ll start that next month’ or ‘I could join that club next semester’. Next thing you know, my course was finished! So, here are 4 regrets that I personally made at my time at university, which some of you could learn from.

1) Money

I cannot express how important money is as a student, as there is so much to pay for. From paying rent to doing your weekly shop and even buying your books. For some it may be overwhelming as you’re not used dealing with so many financial commitments and for others it may be a breeze. Either way, with money comes responsibilities and you have to try at maximise it to the fullest so that you have enough to last. Nobody likes the feeling of being broke right? When I first started university, I planned to save a lot of money, however I wasn’t used to so much money coming into my account at once which had me running straight to the shopping mall.

Tips:

*When you receive your money, make sure you put enough aside to cover your rent, bills, books etc. *Some loans from student finance won’t even cover all of your expenses, so it would be good to look into a part time job, just to have a bit more cash. Finding a job at your Student Union can be ideal, as it is flexible and works around your university timetable.

*Being a student comes with its perks, and if you love to shop then look out for discounts offers from UNIDAYS and NUS Extra, which will save you loads in your favourite shops/restaurants.

2) Food

After a long day of lectures and seminars, I had no energy to cook dinner by the time I got home, therefore I used to find myself in McDonalds or Subway. This started to become a routine on certain days of the week. These eating habits led to an unhealthy lifestyle where you can end up piling on the pounds and feeling sluggish. I would always tell myself ‘okay tomorrow I’ll start clean eating’ and proceed to eat junk a couple days after. It has been said that the average student gains two stone in the first year of university as a result of having a heavy reliance on takeaways. Here are some tips to help not falling into these habits:

*Try and learn to cook, there are many healthy recipes available on www.allrecipes.co.uk

or you could ask a relative or friend for some help.

*There are also plenty of tutorials you can watch on YouTube if you want to see how

different meals are made.

3) Getting work experience

Just having a degree is not enough anymore. Employers are looking for people who have had experience in the field that they want to work in. I had to learn the hard way, as within my 3 years at university I did not carry out any work experience which has made finding a graduate job ten times harder.

Tips:

*Utilise your free time and holiday breaks to find a work placement or internship. This will help you to gain experience in the industry you want to work in and will also help you develop the necessary skills needed in you desired role.

*If you’re feeling unsure on how to go about this, universities usually provide help with finding work experience for students. Also you can check out www.milkround.com which has different types of student and graduate jobs to suit you.

4) Joining a Society

Socialising is important within your university life, as you get to meet different people from different walks of life. Becoming a member of a society is a great way to make friends who have similar interests as you. There are a wide range of societies from football, dancing and even baking. I’ve always had a passion for singing and intended in joining a singing related society when I started university, however I kept putting it off until it was too late to join.

Tip:

*Joining a society will also boost your CV as it will equip you with skills for example: working as a team within the basketball society. These skills can be transferred into the work environment.

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