Top tips for 1st semester

Whether you are just starting university in your first year, or if you are getting ready for your last, these tips will help you get prepared and ready for your 1st Semester of the year! Starting university for the first time can bring lots of challenges. Every single person that attends university will have a different experience compared to the next person which is important to remember!

If your first year at university didn’t go to plan or wasn’t exactly like how some of your friends found it, then don’t worry! Try and take on board some of these simple tips to make your time at university a little smoother!

Create a loose schedule

The best thing that’s gonna help you get through your first semester of university is having a loose plan whether that be written down on paper or just something you reference to in your head. By this I mean making a schedule so you can block out the time you will be at university or studying, then you know which periods of the week you have free. Sort of like creating a timetable.

This will be such a great help when it comes to sorting out plans with friends as well as getting through 1st semester assessments. You should be able to find your timetable online on your university portal – remember to check this, as well as your emails quite frequently as classes can get canceled and rooms can get changed. It might be handy to suggest a class group chat for these sort of updates!

Plan your meals

The next important thing that’s going to help you survive your 1st semester is meal planning and meal prepping. Doing a food shop for one person can be slightly difficult and lots of students end up wasting their food because they’ve brought too much for one person. To sort this problem, you need to start meal prepping! Buy meals for two (or even more) and cook it all at once. Most meals you cook can go in the fridge if you plan on eating it the following day. Or in the freezer if you want it at a later date.

This is also a huge help when you have a late lecture or if you’re in s rush and you don’t feel like cooking!

Creating a shopping list each time you need to stock up is a good way to do it as it means you won’t be picking up random things and spending more money than you need to. It also means you can check what you already have so that you don’t buy more of something that’s already at the back of your cupboard.

Many students tend to stock up when they return home. If youre able to do this, then try and fill up some tubs which you can store in your freezer when you return to university!

Budget your loan

Making your money last is a reoccurring problem throughout everyone’s time at university no matter what year you are in. One of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of running out of money is to budget it. When you receive your first loan, divide it by the number of weeks in the 1st semester (usually 10 -12) and that’s how much you should be using of it per week. Of course, some weeks you may spend a little more and some a little less but at least stick to a rough budget. You can also do this with any wages you get from part-time work or any savings that you have.

This avoids the problem of you getting to the Christmas break with very little money left to live off!

Get to know your tutors

When it comes to your university course, my best tip for you is to get to know your tutors well and make a good impression. At the end of the day, these are the people setting up your exam and marking your exam.

Make sure you try and participate in seminars if you know the answers! Or if you don’t feel comfortable with speaking in class then stay for 5 minutes at the end and ask any questions you have. Not only will this help you get your answers but it will also show your tutor that you want to do well in your assessments.

Avoid treating every week like fresher’s week

Freshers week is full of fun activities and nights out but it can definitely tire you out by the end of the week! So, make sure this doesn’t turn into your full time routine. Of course, make sure you fo out and socialise in the evenings or at weekends, but also remember what you are there for. Stay on top of your studies and prioritise when you need to.

Final Thoughts

1st Semester can be a bit of a shock after a long summer without university so getting back into the swing of things can be harder for some than others. My final tip would be to look after each other! If you can see your flat mates or course mates struggling with the concept of living away from home then keep them busy and invite them out. If you can see your course mate is finding the work a bit different then offer to study with them in the library so you can help them out if they have any questions that you can help with.