The new academic year is well underway; lectures are in full swing, and the busyness of the autumn term is approaching. For some of us, the feelings that arise from the first term of the year are familiar, but for those starting university, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. Moving to a new city, learning to adapt to a different teaching style, dealing with money worries, and balancing a degree can bring about a lot of emotions. It can be a very exciting time, but you might also be experiencing homesickness, and anxieties that come with stepping outside your comfort zone. This blog post aims to help those struggling with getting to grips with studying at university and aiding them in overcoming financial worries.
A key source of anxiety for many students is financing university. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the figures, especially during the first few weeks, but there are a few practical ways you can ease the stress.
5 tips for dealing with money struggles:
Remember to Budget - Creating a budget and most importantly sticking to it can help you track your spendings and sticking it to it can make it easier to track your spendings. Try doing this weekly or monthly depending on what works best for you!
Ask for student discounts - Students can save money online and in-store by showing their student ID. Downloading apps such as UNIDAYS and Student Beans is a must, and often shops ask for this rather than a physical student card.
Save where possible - Even the smallest of changes can lead to a big difference. Make it a habit to cook food at home if possible, plan and cycle your route instead of spending money on ubers, and borrow books from libraries instead of buying them outright. These may all seem trivial but they make a big difference to the bank account!
Research bursaries or scholarships - You might be surprised by the number of bursaries and scholarships available to students. Don't be afraid to ask your university if they offer any!
Set up a student bank account - If you would benefit from more security then setting up a student bank account might be a good idea. Many banks offer interest-free arranged overdrafts as well as different bonuses like amazon prime, a free railcard or a cash bonus.
The jump to a degree level can be challenging to adjust to. The new independent way of learning is something that requires a lot of self discipline. Students with self discipline tend to earn higher grades and practising this skill can help improve your self confidence. Read more about self discipline here. In addition to self discipline, there are a number of ways you can ensure you give yourself the best shot at success.
Top 5 tips for studying success might work better here:
How do you learn best? - Use your first few months to figure out what works best for you. This will make things easier in the long run, especially when it comes to exam season.
Manage your time - To avoid any stressful last minute assignments, make sure you are using your time effectively and keeping on top of things. Getting yourself a planner, calender or writing daily to-do list might be helpful for this.
Eliminate distractions - Where do you study best? If working with a group of people distracts you, then try finding somewhere you can work alone.
Stay organised - Whether your lectures are online or in person, having a system to keep you organised is essential, that way you'll be able to come back to your notes easily and always find what you’re looking for.
Despite the worries that you might have about money and studying, going to university is an exciting experience and helps you grow as a person. Feeling unsettled at first is perfectly normal and will likely disappear on its own. Implementing our tips above on money management and studying can help you feel a little better. If it doesn't though, don't be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or someone in your university who can have a chat with you about what you're feeling. Try and implement a few of the different strategies and systems listed above to make this transition go smoothly. Best of luck!