No matter where you come from, it’s relatively safe to say that university will be the best three years of your life. This is especially true if you want to study in London. But are you even remotely prepared? Here are ten things every student needs for an excellent first year at university.
Take a day to explore your surroundings
Never doubt how much you can discover just by walking down the street. After you’ve settled into your new accommodation, exploring the roads closest to you is the easiest way to learn your way around and find out what amenities you have nearby.
When you’re finding your way around, keep an eye out for convenience stores and supermarkets, libraries, pharmacies, and anything else you might need at short notice. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find; London is full of hidden gems and places to explore. You could be living just metres away from a fantastic independent restaurant or a boutique store and not even know! Unless you look, you’ll never know what lies around the corner.
Attend as many student events as possible
London hosts many kinds of events, including events specifically designed for students. So there will be plenty of opportunities for you to meet new people who have travelled from around England and the rest of the world to come and study here.
Next to the activities and events provided by your college or university, you can find other events which offer the chance to meet people from different universities around London. In this city, you can find parties and events of any kind you can imagine, trust us one day you cross the street and you come face to face with Diwali in the middle of Trafalgar Square, cross your fingers to have it this year!
Familiarise yourself with the transport system
If this is your first time in the city, its vast transport network can be a little overwhelming. In reality, it’s not that scary. The quicker you get familiar with the Tube, the better. We can guarantee that after the first few trips, you’ll be navigating your way around the city without any problems.
Apart from the Tube, London has hundreds of bus routes, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Overground, Tram, and National Rail services. If you’re ever confused about the best way to get somewhere, you can use the TFL Journey Planner.
If you want to make your life easier while you’re getting to grips with the tube and other transport, try downloading the app CityMapper to plan routes as it will tell you which stations to go to and which lines to switch on. Train-line is a handy app for when you want to plan train journeys and can save you money when booking in advance.
Take time to research the opportunities available
No matter what you like, you will find everything you’re looking for in the city. Theatre, music, comedy, fashion, art, history, sports – you name it, London has it all. Whether you’re looking to continue a sport you’re already trained in or want to join a club to make friends, there are endless options for you.
With so many attractions and facilities available on your doorstep, London is the perfect city to try new things or take up a new hobby. Take some time to research whatever it is you want to do and discover everything London has to offer.
Keep a close eye on your money.
Making London your new home is an exciting experience, but there’s no denying that it comes with a hefty price tag. It can be easy to get caught up in all the student experiences the city has to offer and end up eating instant ramen until the end of the month.
Setting yourself a budget and sticking to it may sound scary, but trust us, it is vital if you have limited funds available. Make sure you check your bank balance regularly to avoid any nasty surprises. With this said, your time as a student is supposed to be fun, so make sure you set aside some money for going out and enjoying yourself. App, If you’re looking to save money in London, download the Wrangle app for a tonne of sweet deals.
Be sure to eat well
Plain pasta and canned beans don’t have to be the only thing on the menu for the next three to four years. And trust us, keeping a healthy and varied diet is not hard or expensive as you believe. And not, going from Mcdonalds to KFC and then Nando’s don’t count for diverse and definitely not healthy. Plus, eating well will better equip you for the ups and downs of uni life.
So, making nutritious and enjoyable food should be a priority while you’re at uni. We’re not saying you need to stock up on cauliflower and kale (on a student budget?! No way!) but it is essential to find ways to fit fun and healthy food into your routine. We recommend you get a cookbook with easy recipes, this you can fund it almost everywhere and some kitchens essentials like a pan and some pots.
You can try inviting people over for dinner or organising alternate dinner parties between friends. This is a great way to get to know people, and it’s also much cheaper than going out to eat. Set out a couple of nights each week where you’ll know you’ll eat a home-cooked meal. Just be careful when chopping vegetables!
Keep a fancy dress supply
Not a fan of dressing up? You will be after your first year at university. Freshers week will most likely be full of fancy-dress-themed events. And you’ll quickly come to learn that fancy clothes make everything more fun – lectures included! By the end of the year, you will most likely be able to count the number of times, on one hand, you’ve gone out in regular clothes. So, a fancy dress supply is a must. How about a superhero theme?
The most important thing on the list: always be positive and have a “let’s go for it” attitude to whatever you face. WARNING: may result in lots of fun.
Have we missed anything? Let us know if you have been to any of these amazing places or if you think we’ve missed an East London gem that should be on the list! Share your experience and tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!