When I knew that I was accepted into ARU in September 2017 I was over the moon. All the hard work over the previous years had finally paid off. Although I was extremely proud of becoming an ARU student, I was still very nervous. I was scared of the unknown, unsure of what the university would be like and concerned whether I would find my place in the institution.
My first tip to students starting here at ARU is to relax, take a deep breath and try your best not to worry. Remember why you are attending university in the first place, your own personal goals and aspirations that inspired you to continue your education. From my personal experience, the energy I wasted on worrying was a hundred times worse than actually starting university.
My second tip is to make the most out of welcome week and the fresher’s fare. Many students feel like they cannot speak to people or feel awkward spending a little bit of time alone. My advice would be to just be yourself, there are plenty of students who would love to be spoken to, so do not be shy. I also think the welcome talks are a great opportunity to get to know other students not only within your course but in your faculty.
My third tip would be to manage your money well whilst you’re at university. We all know that finances can get quite tight whilst studying, so where do you start? Students that are receiving their maintenance loan will do so every three or four months. When you receive your money, refrain from immediately going on a spending spree. Instead, when you receive your money take out accommodation, travel, food, etc. With what is left all you need to do is divide it by the amount of time it must cover and provide yourself a weekly budget on what you can spend per week.
My fourth tip is open a student account and take advantage of student discounts. My advice to students would be to set up a student account with a bank, have a look online at the best student account and the incentives or freebies that they provide. A student account allows you to borrow money for 0% interest that you can pay back when you receive your student finance. Not only that but when I signed up to my student account, I also received a three year railcard which has saved me enormous amounts of money when traveling to university. Lastly, as a student you are entitled to all sorts of discounts. Take a look at NUS, student beans, unidays, savethestudent and more.
My final tip is throw yourself into any opportunity you get. Remember you are paying for three years at university. It is not going to be good value for money if you just go to lectures and then sit in your room for the rest of the year. At Anglia Ruskin, we have sports, societies, committees, the Employment Bureau, nights out, Give it a go (days out), Volunteering centre, Student Union and many more! So make sure you make the most out of your three years.