Updated: Apr 13
Soon there will be a new batch of freshers heading off to start a new adventure. If that's you, I am so excited for you!! I completed my degree a few years ago now, and my time at University was one of the best times of my life.
You might be getting ready to move into your first year accommodation. It's a fun time planning and prepping your very first taste of your "own" place.
But there are a few things I wish I had known before I started, and especially helpful for those eco conscious freshers. So here are some tips and tricks alongside some "lovely" photos of my first year at Uni to show you the best fun comes from what you make of Uni not what you HAVE at Uni.
- You don't need much. At your childhood home you probably have anything you could imagine you might need. At University, you'll get by with basically none of that. In between full days of lectures, going out with your flatmates, visiting home, revision, writing papers, you will have very little time to prep up complicated meals, hence student meals being so basic. University is NOT the time to stress over having the latest gadgets, the prettiest things etc. Uni is the time to let go, have fun and relax! Most other students will have the bare basics to survive. You will be sharing with other students, your bedroom does not need to be perfectly designed and certainly don't plan a pretty communal space... Every dorm has at least one person who never ever washes up. Plan to take the minimum and you'll soon workout what you ACTUALLY need. Those things you do actually NEED...
- Borrow, Buy in Charity shops or on ebay. Buy as little as possible new! When living in student accommodation your kitchen stuff will get used, melted on the stove, barely washed, and might even mysteriously vanish. Anything you can buy second hand or even just borrow from your parents loft (check that they aren't attached or sentimental items). Your bedroom items may receive a similar fate, with house parties. When you use something second hand you save resources but also CASH! And trust me, you'll thank yourself later when you've been savvy with your student loan. This also counts for TEXTBOOKS! I spent a small fortune on textbooks over my degree, when they can be rented from the library or found second hand on ebay either FREE or a fraction of the price. 5 years on, I have textbooks I no longer need, so really, there was no use in buying.
- But still remember... the less you buy the less you have to take away again. Moving into halls, 9 months away you'll move out again, which probably seems like a LONG TIME! Its not! It will go so fast. Only take what you can take back and use again. Each year thousands of non recyclable duvets are DUMPED in student halls. Everything you buy will have to leave, and if you've got lovely parents helping you move out at the end of the year, you're lucky but remember a car can only take so much stuff!!
- The most fun nights at Uni will be the nights that are unplanned and that you're least dressed up. So stop stressing about your outfits. Buying new clothes is an absolutely insane waste of money, and a HUGE waste of resources. Again you can borrow (why not organize a clothes swap) buy in charity shops or just what you already own!!
- Do not buy special fancy dress outfits for theme nights on freshers night. These nights are MESSY and fun. You really do not need to buy a new outfit, upcycle something you already own and save that money for textbooks!! Most fancy dress is polyester too, so a one night outfit is single use plastic. I bought a bat women outfit especially for a night, it was expensive and the only time I did it, and I still regret buying it. All other nights I wore something I already had and accessorized it. Outfits you DO NOT NEED include a banana suit that gets trashed the first night you wear it ;)
- Learn some basic cooking whilst still at home! This needs little further explaining, but I really recommend picking up some tricks from your well versed parents on how to do the basics of cooking.
- Have fun!!! I absolutely loved prepping and planning to get to Uni. Enjoy it all, and most of all, enjoy Uni! Let go, explore yourself and your new surroundings.
I hope some of these tips can save you some money, help you have fun and save some resources. I hope you have the most amazing time!