So you’ve finally escaped the 9-4 boredom of school and are ready for some long-awaited independence in the form of university life.
In the absence of pushy parents and teachers, here are six ways to get the most out of being a student, all by yourself.
1. Join a society
At school, being too involved in extracurriculars was never a good thing. For students though, it’s a different story. From Quidditch to cheerleading, Hide and Seek to student radio stations, you’re guaranteed to find something that floats your boat. Being a member of a society is not only a great way to explore an existing passion, or find a new one, but it also opens up a whole new social circle.
You’re a cash-strapped student, grants are being cut and those 9k fees are sucking your soul as well as your bank balance. Yeah, we get it. The one thing you’re not short of though? Time. In fact, students are time-rich. Why not put this time to use by doing something good for other students or the wider community? Exeter student, Katie Costello, volunteered at the local Oxfam bookshop in her first year of university, and described it as “a valuable educational experience, completely unavailable through a degree or campus university life.”
3. Learn smarter
You might only be studying one subject at university, but that’s not the only subject they offer! As a student, you’re surrounded by world-class experts in their fields, literally being PAID to share their wisdom. Take advantage! Whether that’s the academic conference on the Kardashians held at Brunel University last year, or a lecture on homelessness at the University of Exeter, step outside of your degree and enrich your mind. Want to learn a new language? Most universities’ foreign language schools offer heavily subsidised courses for enrolled students.
5. Get a part-time job
In between partying and buying all those textbooks (that you’ve almost definitely never opened), there’s every chance your wallet is paying the price of the student lifestyle. Giving tours of your university to prospective students and helping out at open days is a flexible way to earn some extra dollar and fit it in around your studying, and partying.
6. Expand your horizons
As lovely as they might be, those freshers friends won’t last forever. Take advantage of your tutorials and lectures to talk to someone new you’ve never seen before.