I am approaching the absolute final stages of my first year at Kent University, hooray for me. Fresher year has gone extremely quick and it sadly just seems like yesterday that I met all of my excellent new friends on my course, and since me and my roommates moved in to our humble home in Gillingham. This year has had its ups and downs though, so I thought I would write a post on the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of the things I’ve learnt whilst moving away from home for University and trying to get a cracking experience as a whole. Let’s get started!

Drunk Housemate
This basically sums university up nicely I think

Choose Wisely Who You Live With

Always crucial, and rather difficult when you may not have the choice. However, for my first year, myself and three friends were all either going in to our second year, or were starting our first, so we thought it would make sense to move in to a house together straight away. I think we have all heard the ancient scripture of ‘You do not know somebody until you move in with them.’ Well, it’s true. If you don’t clean, don’t do your washing up, leave plates and cups in your room for eternity, don’t pay bills and in general don’t help out, there are going to be arguments. I will always love my housemates as most of us have been old friends for years, but times can get hard and tedious. Keep an eye out for traits at home.

Washing up
This was one persons washing up from one day.

If You’re Struggling With Money, Don’t Drive

Three days a week, I work in Gravesend, which is a £3.30 (with a rail card) train journey. By car, it’s roughly (and generously) £5 to get there and back, plus £3 parking for the day, which is £8 in general. So three times a week, that’s £9.90 for train journey, or £24 by car. If you get a similar result- don’t drive.

Messy room

If You Miss Home- Go Home

Lucky me, I sometimes have to deal with depression, which I noticed, is enhanced simply by being away from home. So if you miss home, either go home for a weekend and talk it out with your parents/sibling, or just give home a call for half hour. It will boost your motivation, your optimism, and will make your university experience and memories so much better. Remember that everyone on your course who has moved away misses home too.

If a Friend Is Having Trouble, Help Them

If you have a course mate who looks like they’re having trouble missing home, missing their partner or struggling with assignments- help them. Take them to your local for a beer, talk about the good parts of home with them, share your stories and make them feel better about university, thus motivating them for work. If it’s assignment work they’re struggling with, offer to help them with it. If they are cryptically telling you “I cannot be bothered to do it,” then sometimes some tough love is needed. Be slightly critical, but overall motivational, and offer them your help.

Friends/housemates
How to get along in our household

Don’t Leave Assignment Work to the Last Minute. Just Do It

You took up a course that you actually enjoying doing right? Because you want to do something related to it in the future, right? Then this should motivate you to do assignment work. Personally, I’ve had hopeful plans for when I leave university to become a teacher, so I am constantly enthusiastic about my assignments. I tend to start them within the first two weeks of getting them, and constantly touch up on them until the deadline. Hand them in a week early if you can! It’s so much less stressful.

Assignment work
Add two speaker monitors, and this is how I lock in to doing work.

This is just the start – more learnings to come! 

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