Advice about uni that your teachers won't tell you... (for anyone feeling curious)

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    In honour of my fellow TSRians, I'm going to make a massive thread of knowledge for any freshers that will be going to university for the first time. I see loads of people seem nervous/excited, so I hope this knowledge will be helpful .

    On flatmates - If you have anything about yourself you want to be known, it's best to get it out early. So for example, if you're not much of a party-goer, or you have certain religious practices, or you're allergic to nuts… whatever it may be, it's best to get it over with & out in the open right at the start when you first meet and greet, it will prevent any awkward revelations in the future.

    Regarding flatmates that don't clean up after themselves, you can tell them in a really polite way to clean up, but do not nag them and do not be overly high maintenance because in the end, you'll create way more bad tensions so just be chill about it. If you live in the same flat as a rugby player, you might find the odd plate lying around in the kitchen in my experience lol. But as long as you clean everything thoroughly for the flat inspections, it'll be fine.



    If someone takes a splash of your milk or nicks a bit of your butter, just let it go. Don't get me wrong, if it keeps happening consistently then confront people. But if it's a one-off, let it go. When you live with people, s*** happens. Don't overreact because you could end up making enemies with everyone you live with (I've seen it happen with someone who lived in the same halls of residence as myself years back lol).


    On books - In my opinion, you don't necessarily need to spend money on books. I guarantee you that as soon as you start your course, lecturers will have a list of many books they "recommend" you to buy. This is probably not necessary because you should be using libraries instead of spending a fortune on books.

    If your uni library is any good at all, there should be enough books to cover whatever modules you're doing. Also, particularly if you're doing a STEM or business degree, use online research databases like sciencedirect.com. This is because you will save so much time on researching whatever topic. All you have to do is use your uni login for access to it, and then use the search bar to find tons of studies related to the topic you want. These online tools are particularly good because you can find very up to date research.

    Now if you still want to buy some physical books to keep for years to come, I recommend you buy second hand because they are so much cheaper. I easily spent a lot of money in my first year of uni on new books initially, before I changed strategy within a few months and looked at second hand books on Amazon. Occasionally, you will find some good quality, second hand books at amazingly cheap prices on Amazon (like 90%+ cheaper than the brand new equivalent). Sometimes it's because the person selling it just doesn't need the book anymore. Just make sure you buy from sellers with good ratings.


    On studying - Have a revision timetable for work you do outside lectures because you'll be more efficient this way since you're specific and have some direction about what you're doing that day.

    Have daily goals of what you want to study. Uni is an amazing opportunity to have freedom to really work exactly how you like, so use that flexible schedule and be really consistent from the beginning because it sets the tone.


    On social life - Societies are cool because it's a decent way to meet people with similar interests and make friends. But don't join too many because you'll spread yourself thin. You'll need some free time for yourself after all.

    In my opinion, nightclubs are massively overrated. There will be a lot of hype from club promoters trying to sell you s***. They'll be knocking on the front door of your flat to sell club tickets, pushing flyers in your face when you're walking outside the students' union and creating a million Facebook groups to promote and such. In my opinion, you can go out during the first few weeks as a fresher, but after that you probably won't see anything that amazing.

    You'll end up spending a fortune on over-priced drinks that are 300% inflated, entry tickets, taxis and fast food. The money you spend will add up very quickly, so use it on far cheaper forms of entertainment. You could just watch Netflix or go to the gym for example.


    If you have anything to add or any more questions on 1st year, please post and I'll try to answer as best as I can!
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    Good advice, thinking about it that's not really something teachers say on textbooks I would just say also check with students (preferably who've done well but not a must..) as to what was actually necessary if you have to physically buy them as you say.

    Also, there's no need to go to every lecture but it helps because if you stop going to a few here and there then it can be a slippery slope.However, it can work out as long as you actually work outside of lectures. It's just easy to first not go to lots of lectures and then not do any work and regret it close to exam time. But if there's a 9 o'clock lecture that's kind of pointless then... I'd be looking the other way :lol:
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    Don't get drunk on the night before a 9am lecture start. Then again, why would you go to a 9am lecture
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    (Original post by SeanFM)
    Good advice, thinking about it that's not really something teachers say on textbooks I would just say also check with students (preferably who've done well but not a must..) as to what was actually necessary if you have to physically buy them as you say.
    Totally agree.

    If you're in your 1st year, having a chat with students in their 2nd year or above can be really helpful to get an idea of what to expect.
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    (Original post by UWS)
    Don't get drunk on the night before a 9am lecture start. Then again, why would you go to a 9am lecture
    Those are the worst lol.
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    Bump
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    Be careful in choosing with whom you're going to do group assignments. Those who always take notes during lectures, or super active on seminars are the people you want to have in the group.
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    if you live more than half an hour away try and get accommodation there are many reasons for this
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    Group work: If you're in a group with someone who does nothing, suck it up, ignore them and get on with the job. Don't waste energy complaining to lecturers etc if you can't motivate them to join in. In the working world, there will be times you have to carry deadweight whilst producing a good result. Uni group work is the same. Don't let the slackers distract you and drag you down to their level.
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    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    if you live more than half an hour away try and get accommodation there are many reasons for this
    I would agree because it makes things easier rather than commuting (if you can afford the accommodation).
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    (Original post by agrew)
    Be careful in choosing with whom you're going to do group assignments. Those who always take notes during lectures, or super active on seminars are the people you want to have in the group.
    (Original post by Klix88)
    Group work: If you're in a group with someone who does nothing, suck it up, ignore them and get on with the job. Don't waste energy complaining to lecturers etc if you can't motivate them to join in. In the working world, there will be times you have to carry deadweight whilst producing a good result. Uni group work is the same. Don't let the slackers distract you and drag you down to their level.
    Excellent posts.

    This is my take on this issue. In group assignments, you might be unfortunate as I was on many occasions to have a leech in the group. If you identify a person like this, the one who lets everyone else do the work, doesn't contribute and breaks promises, that type of guy should be dropped ASAP.

    If someone messes up once at the start, they'll do it again further down the line because it's a character trait that comes up again and again.
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    (Original post by redbronze1)
    This is my take on this issue. In group assignments, you might be unfortunate as I was on many occasions to have a leech in the group. If you identify a person like this, the one who lets everyone else do the work, doesn't contribute and breaks promises, that type of guy should be dropped ASAP.

    If someone messes up once at the start, they'll do it again further down the line because it's a character trait that comes up again and again.
    At my uni, groups were generally put together by the lecturer who set the coursework (gives the slackers a percentage boost). They couldn't be got rid of, so we just had to learn to work around/despite them. We doggedly invited them to group sessions and included them in every communication, but we usually prayed that they didn't turn up.*It isn't fair, but having spent 20+ years in the working world before uni, I know that it's a useful skill to have.
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    (Original post by redbronze1)
    I would agree because it makes things easier rather than commuting (if you can afford the accommodation).
    Some times it can work out cheaper to get a accommodation such as in my first year if I'd commuted it would have cost me £100 + Where as halls can be as cheap £80


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    (Original post by Klix88)
    *It isn't fair, but having spent 20+ years in the working world before uni, I know that it's a useful skill to have.
    It's true. Sometimes you need luck in getting a good group or you just have to grit your teeth.
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    I just thought of something I forgot to add...

    On jobs

    If you can, I would advise you to get a temporary job during your first term. Why? Because it's extra cash in your pocket, will only add to your CV and will set you up for terms 2 & 3. In your 1st term, lectures won't be as often as terms 2 & 3 so you can use a little free time (maybe 1 day a week) where you're working. You can always quit later in the year to focus purely on studying.

    If after the first 3/4 months you feel settled and sure you're going to carry on doing the course and not drop out, think about year 2 accommodation.

    This is important because you have to start considering your year 2 accommodation in term 2 (believe it or not) because in a lot of places, the best houses might go early. So during term two, try and decide if you want to live in halls again (if you did in first year), or if you want to move into a house. The spare cash will come in handy because if you agree to renting a house with a few other people (e.g. a group of 4 students), you're gonna need to put down a deposit at the letting agency.
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    Your dedication and generosity is to be admired.
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    (Original post by Truth')
    Your dedication and generosity is to be admired.
    What a nice thing to say. Thanks!

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    What jobs would hire people with little to no experience?
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    Don't get dragged into debates with undergrad engineers about the cost per hour of plugging in electric radiators.

    Don't tolerate flatmates using baby oil in the bath without them cleaning it out afterwards.

    Flatmates whose girlfriends perform noisy sex are probably essentially insecure types.
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    Great thread!

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