Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Tips to start at university

Tips to start at university

Hi everyone,

Now I am finally back at Birmingham, and for my surprise at the time of writing this the weather was perfect, it was hot and the sun was out! We are now starting a new academic year at university. For some of you, this will be your first year at UCB, so welcome.

For today’s post, I am going to give you some tips to start the new academic year in the best way possible.

  1. Clean your room

Every year before the 1st-semester starts, I like to organise my desk and my office. Usually, I put all of my documents from the year before in a folder, and I tidy my closet, choosing what I still wear and what I don’t.

  1. Plan a weekly budget

When you start at university is very easy to spend loads of money without you even noticing. If you don’t have a part-time job or have just the money that your family gave to you, I recommend you have a weekly budget, so you don’t have to ask for more money. In another case, if you have a part-time job, I still think that you should have a budget, so you don’t overspend.

  1. Make the most of the university

If you are a first-year student, enjoy as much as you can from university. Don’t think you don’t need to study because the grades don’t count, because it is more difficult in the second year if you don’t have any background on the subjects. The university has a lot to offer, try to research about it and attend all of the events.

  1. Make friends

Being the new student can be daunting, but at UCB most of us are new students in the first year, so it is not hard to make friends because we are all in the same situation. Don’t be sad if you don’t find your best friends in the first year, but you will definitely make friends. From my own experience, in the first year, I made 2 friends that are still the same now, but during the 2nd year I made 3 more friends, and now I have my best friends as I told you on my last post.

  1. Eat a balanced diet

This one can be tough to do, since you are now living alone, and junk food is cheaper than healthy food. In the first year, I was only eating fast-food, and sometimes I was cooking, but last year I started cooking more, and now I never order food, I always prefer to cook my own meal. When I came to Birmingham I was not able to cook anything, so if I learned from scratch you can as well. Try new recipes and probably you will find food that you thought you didn’t like but you like, for example in my case it was broccoli.

If you have a balanced diet, you will feel better with yourself.

  1. Stay in touch with friends from home

I know it’s hard to say goodbye to our old friends and to not be with them every day but stay in touch with them. Some people prefer to not to talk again in a way to not miss the person, but in my opinion, it is very good if you still have those friends back home to talk to when you have a bad day. I still have 2 friends back home, that I know if I need anything, they will be there for me and one of them I am going to visit this semester, so stay tuned for another travel post.

  1. Be yourself

This sounds cliche but it is the best tip that I can give to you. It’s easy to try to be another person just to make friends or to impress people. I can give you an example, I don’t drink alcohol because I don’t like it and I thought I would never go out because most of my friends drink. I don’t want to feel lonely but at UCB most of my friends don’t care if I drink or not, so with them I can be myself.

In conclusion, these are the tips that I have for you except the ones that your parents already told you such as “don’t skip class” or “don’t drink and don’t smoke”.  I hope you like it and see you next week,

Madalena Ribeiro

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