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Inside University of Bristol
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Any advice for 2023 Bristol students?

I'm going to study at the UoB in 2023 (psych), and would love any and all advice or experience you have to share - ranging from accommodation, finance, study, leisure, travel, etc. What did you wish you knew starting out? :biggrin:
Hi, sorry I'm just joining this thread because I'd also like to know haha
Inside University of Bristol
University of Bristol
Reply 2
Well as a parent of a first year, my advice would be:-
1. The moment you can apply for accommodation get on it. Do not lose the guaranteed accommodation timelines.
Spend time looking at the options and budget, if you dont get first choice and end up with third or fourth that can happen.
Don't get me wrong the accommodation team are superb they want to support you but there are just so many applications for halls in the first year they can't please everyone. Its challenging and more stressful IMO waiting to know about accommodation than it was securing a place!!

2. Seriously, chat to bank of mum and dad and look at the costs and what support they can offer. As a parent i was unprepared for the true costs. Other parents are probably more on the ball than me but in principle, your tuition fees are no problem as they are fully covered, it's the maintenance if your parents earn something like 30k each or more the means testing absolutely smashes your allowance. I'm my case my daughter got the reduced £4.5k because i earn too much the accommodation alone was £8.4k, couldn't get the cheaper accommodation and that's before money to live on, materials, clubs and events so Bank of mum and dad are probably in for £9k on average a year, unless you have own savings or pick up a part time job. I have no concerns for student debt as it will probably never be repaid and if you are earning enough when you leave to start paying the token repayments you are doing well anyhow imo and it will be well worth it. But talk to Mum and dad and see what they can support.

3. I notice a lot of students can feel home sick, worried in the first two weeks or so. If you don't get on with your flat mates really dont worry. You will start meeting people through the course, clubs and societies. In my daughter's case it was 50/50 first week or so if she was going to quit and come home. Now she absolutely loves it, she is having an absolute ball in Bristol. The challenge she has is to balance work and play, so much going on. The thing is i think it's something like 4 or 5 thousand students at UOB and same again at UWE so the city is a hive of activity and completely geared to the student population.

IF UOB is your choice you will love it. but do consider my points, you need the cash flow to make the most of the experience. Good Luck
Reply 3
Correction on to my point 3. I think i was quoting first year undergraduate entry numbers.
There are over 20,000 Students at UOB
There are over 29,000 Students at UWE

Anyhow it's a lot of students in one area that's for sure :smile: hence high demand for accommodation
Good luck
Reply 4
Original post by #EnglandOutpls
Don’t listen to any of your prospective teaching staff. They are all global Marxist propagandists destroying Britains heritage and should be locked up.

LMOL - unfortunately that could probably apply to most UK universities these days. Welcome to WOKE UK we have arrived. Take care.
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
I'm going to study at the UoB in 2023 (psych), and would love any and all advice or experience you have to share - ranging from accommodation, finance, study, leisure, travel, etc. What did you wish you knew starting out? :biggrin:

I just graduated from UoB this year, so hopefully I can give you some insight into some of the things I wish I knew before starting.

Accommodation: I was really worried about this one. I'll be honest with you, It really is a bit of a gamble. However, the gamble was more so to do with 'who' you get placed with, rather than the actual accommodation flat itself. You could either love your flatmates or you could hate them. I'd say, after talking with quite a few people on the topic, you are most likely to feel indifferent towards most of them (but there's usually at least one or two people you should like enough to chat with regularly)

The accommodation standard is more to do with your budget. I'd recommend looking at the reputation of each hall when deciding, and deciding on your priorities: catering options, location, price, 'vibe' etc. Then choose somewhere that aligns with this. But please don't get disheartened if you don't get your first or second choice, there are pros and cons to most of the accommodation. I'd personally go Clifton or Stoke Bishop (somewhere you can get to and from easily with a lot of other people close by) but again, that's just my preference. I got into University Hall, it wasn't even my first choice, and I was gutted. But it turned out pretty well, and I saved so much cash.

What I wish I knew before I started though, is that not getting along with my flatmates is not the end of the world. I would have told myself that I would make a lot more friends from interest-based societies and my course, than from my accommodation. And that there are so many ways to make friends at Uni, you just need to put yourself out there (and leave your ego at the door).

Study: Okay, so this might be different for everyone again. But I'd tell myself that getting a first-class degree is really hard. I didn't study that much in my first year. And, as far as I know, most people don't. You will be fine if you don't work super hard, and will most likely end up doing okay, (2.1-2.2) but if you want a first-class degree, I wouldn't slack during 1st year.

Social: There is a huge drinking culture at Uni. I think most people are aware of this. Drugs are also commonplace. You most probably won't be forced to drink or do drugs unless you get in with the wrong crowd and people are generally super chill if you don't want to drink. However, I will say, some societies base most of their socials on drinking, and if you don't do this, you may feel left out. Again, If this is you, there are so many other options available that won't put you in this boat. If you do end up getting into the drinking culture, with is completely fine too, I'd say be aware of the impact this can have on your mental health and your ability to perform well in your studies.

Finance: Bristol can be expensive, but not ridiculous if you sort out your priorities before you go. Do you like takeaways or home cooking? Do you want a nice room with an en suite or are you out all the time and just need a bed and a shared bathroom? Would you prefer living in a good location versus having a nice big house/flat? Do you prefer to Study at home or at Uni?

You'll likely have to compromise (unless you're super rich) Personally, I'd decide what you really want and then take a hit on the less important things. I had to get a job at Uni which actually helped me keep a good routine, and gave me some extra cash to do the things I enjoyed without feeling so limited all the time.

This is all that I can think of at the moment, if you have any more questions for me let me know, and I'll be as honest as I can!
Bristol first-year here. It was my second choice, so I didn't get any say in my accommodation. I originally got a single w/ basin in Wills Hall (Stoke Bishop) which was 8.8k and managed to change it to an identical room in Manor Hall (4.8k) by phoning up. Here's what I've learned (mostly about accommodation) and picked up from what others have said:

- Manor Hall is one of the cheapest accoms and is 100% worth the money and more. The location is perfect (about 15 min walk from campus, if that), you have Clifton nearby and city centre isn't too bad to get to either. Also the single rooms are MASSIVE. Lots of my course mates were disappointed that they didn't get manor. Honestly I'm so glad I'm there and not in Wills.
- accoms are always oversubscribed so if I'm being realistic, don't be surprised if you don't get your first or second choice. One guy in my flat got here because it was his last choice. if you're really not happy, you can apply for a different one in late October but be aware you'll have limited choice.
- non en-suite accommodation (shared bathrooms) is not as bad as some think. Also, having a communal kitchen makes it easier to socialise, have pres, or have flat dinners - whatever you and your flat mates are into, really.
- when choosing an arrival day, pick the earliest day so you get first dibs on which cupboard(s) you like and which part of the fridge to claim (top shelf so you don't get anyone else's stuff potentially leaking onto your food, especially if you're veggie/vegan or have allergies). It also means you can meet people as they arrive, rather than having to learn ten names and faces at once which can be quite overwhelming.
- if you apply for accommodation in Stoke Bishop, be aware that you need a bus to get to campus and back (bus pass is included for all students, regardless of accommodation), it's only 10 mins but personally I'd rather be walking distance away haha.
- from what people in studios have told me, it's hard to interact/make friends with others in the building because everything you need is accessible to you only. One of my friends has said that it gets quite lonely for her. I have social anxiety and wanted a studio - I share both a bathroom and kitchen with 17 people (I have my own basin) and it's actually more bearable than I thought.
- however much of a cat person you might be, the chances of the goldney hall cat actually liking you is slim to none.
- there are lots of places to study onsite, from the libraries to the SU buildings, to the cosy Senate House living room. there are also cafes - Caffè Nero is popular (plus students get 15% off there), and there are study spaces in most accoms too.
- I haven't met a single person in catered accommodation who hasn't complained about the food. That being said, I also haven't seen a communal kitchen that is sparkling clean, but we do get cleaners in some accoms. Catered halls have pantries, but they're not really kitted out for cooking elaborate meals as I don't think they have a stove or oven.
- (I'm going to get a lot of backlash for saying this I'm sure) On the Clifton triangle, the Waitrose is sometimes cheaper than the Sainsbury's. And the M&S down the road also has some good value things too. Also the mywaitrose card can apparently get you a free Caffè Nero coffee from the machine if you make any purchase. so it does cheap coffee too.
- get ToGood2Go. unfortunately I'm vegan so I don't really use it much, but the ones from bakeries are normally really good value, and you get loads of essentials for super cheap. Also, don't be afraid to splurge on some more luxurious/expensive food if it's what you really want. Just make it part of your budget and spend it wisely.
- sort out your finances before you go. I use notion and it works like a charm. Work out how much you have per week (once you've taken off the rent payment, which is normally done in 3 payments). Weekly is better than monthly as it's easier to keep track of your spending. Categorise your payments and set aside a certain amount for food and leisure each week. Log each payment so you can keep track on how much you've spent. If you go over budget, deduct your overspending from the following week's budget so you don't enter your overdraft.

(apologies for the lengthy list but hope some of these help!)
Reply 7
May I ask how has your experience been so far regarding your studies? Ive seen mixed feelings on the quality of teaching and Im debating between Bristol and Dundee for biological sciences. Any insight is appreciated.

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