Words by Puddles the Monkey

Essential student necessities, whether to study in the library or at home and picking your university for the social scene. Here's what everyone's been talking about this week.

What we learned…

We don't even celebrate thanksgiving in the UK dude
… the top six things they don’t tell you you need to take with you to uni. Here they are:

1) “A fancy dress outfit": Doesn’t matter what. You’ll be able to get in to any event that requires a costume: “…you’re in a hotdog outfit.” “Yes.” “This is a mods and rockers party.” “Yes.” “…” “…come in then.”

2) “Strepsils, tissues, dry shampoo...”: For when the hot water stops working, someone uses up all the loo paper wrapping themselves up like a mummy (told you you should’ve brought a fancy dress costume with you), and your throat hurts because you stayed up ‘til 4am yodelling S Club 7 songs at karaoke.

3) “Lots of instant noodles!”: You’ve told your parents you’ll promise to learn how to cook, but let’s face it, instant noodles are easier.

4) “A pair of rubber gloves.”: Industrial strength. You’ll be thankful.

5) “A teddy bear.”: For those nights when you’ve spent hours tearing your hair out over an assignment, your housemate ate the last of your cheese without asking, and you just want someone to hold while you cry.

6) “A small plant like a cactus.”: Ideal for brightening up any dorm room. Also extremely low maintenance so if you forget about it for a few days weeks months the week before you move out, it will survive.

Poll: Do you prefer to study at home or at uni?

This week’s poll revealed that 42% of students prefer to study at home, rather that at uni. But which is best?Poll: where do you prefer to study

“I can't study at home because I can't concentrate properly.” Says UWS. “At uni I always feel people are looking over my shoulder and judging me if I'm not doing anything work related,” agrees super_kawaii.

Blondie987 feels the opposite: “I prefer at home, I get too distracted as I can't relax in a library and even if I try to study with my friends we just end up chatting.” It’s also more comfortable at home – “I can make tea whenever I want and have snacks, the radio playing,” says SeanFM.

SophieSmall has a more complex system: “I prefer to do straight forward work like essays at home. But I prefer to do things like lab reports in the library with friends,” she explains. Bouncing ideas back and forth in a group is a great way to get new perspectives on your work.

Ultimately, you’ve got to find the place that works best for you.

Advice: LGBT+ scenes at uni

“I really like Durham due to the pretty city itself, and the collegiate system appeals to me,” says simbasdragon. “However, I'm concerned that there won't be many gay bars or club nights at Durham, and that the whole atmosphere will be more conservative.” Should this affect your university choice?

“University isn't 100% academia, it's about life too,“ says *Stefan*. It’s important to go somewhere where you’ll be happy. Remember, most universities have active LGBT+ societies and other groups where you can meet like-minded people, so even if it seems the surrounding area might be more conservative don’t rule out the uni completely.

“Go to the uni where you think you will be happiest,” says Origami Bullets. “That calculation can include the LGBT+ scene, but that should be balanced with matters such as liking the collegiate system, and which course you prefer.”

More on TSR:

Brilliant advice if you're thinking about commuting

No time to eat lunch - is this bad?

What motivates you to study?
What does the best day on your timetable look like?

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