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21st Sep 2022

Graduate’s guide to surviving Uni includes tips such as ‘avoid snogging housemates’ and ‘don’t take a car’

Jack Peat

University leavers spill all 

Graduates have revealed their tips on how to survive university – including to learn three simple recipes, avoid snogging housemates and don’t be the one with a car.

A poll of 1,000 18 to 24-year-olds – including current and former students – found 61 per cent were not prepared for the rigors of university life.

And the same percentage (61 per cent) struggled to adjust to the change of lifestyle at first – so new students are recommended to bring along small mementos to remind them of home.

Other tips include joining at least one university society, putting a list of deadlines on your wall where you’re likely to see it, and buying your own printer.


Commissioned by digital textbook platform, Kortext, the research found 79 per cent were shocked at how expensive it was to purchase everything they needed for their studies.

To underline this, it emerged more than £1,100 could be spent on textbooks alone during a three-year degree.

But despite the significant expense, 67 per cent of existing or ex-students would encourage others to go to university.

A spokesperson for the brand said: “Many of those starting their degree this year will be leaving home for the first time.

“And while undeniably fun, university can be quite overwhelming at first.

“We’re seeing some alarming stats with many students saying they don’t even know how they’re going to afford their course books.

“So, we hope sharing the wisdom of those who’ve navigated university life will come in handy for new starters.

“They’ve been there and know just what it was like to be a new student – worrying about fitting in, money, getting to grips with their studies, and more.”

Pearls of wisdom 

Other pearls of wisdom from current and former students include saying yes to everything and don’t be afraid to talk to your tutors about your studies as it’s what they’re there for.

They also recommend new students choose modules they’re genuinely interested in and avoid all-night study sessions – so try and chip away at coursework rather than leave it until the last minute.

Further tips include shopping around before committing to utilities providers, avoiding cheap laptops, and arguably the most important tip of them all: pizza is the perfect hangover food.

However, be warned, 68 per cent of those who’ve been to university think it is even more expensive than the general public perceives it to be.

Similarly, the same percentage admitted they’d be worried about being able to afford their degree if they were to start it now amid the cost-of-living crisis.

And 72 per cent of those yet to commence their degree admitted they’re concerned about having enough money to pay for all the textbooks needed for their course.

The study, carried out through OnePoll, suggests students should budget carefully – but new starters are advised to be realistic when doing this, ensuring they set aside money to enjoy themselves.

A spokesperson for Kortext added: “One of the biggest themes of the research is how expensive university is.

And while this isn’t new, it does highlight how much of a concern it continues to be for students – especially in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.

“Of course, they’re limited in what they can do when it comes to costs like tuition fees.

“But as shown in some of the tips, from the books they buy to their choice of internet provider, there are ways they can make their money go a little further.”

25 top tips for surviving university 

1. Keep a list of deadlines and put it on your wall where you’re likely to see it

2. Join at least one university society

3. Don’t be afraid to talk to your tutors about your studies – it’s what they’re there for

4. Master three simple cooking recipes

5. Shop around before committing to utilities providers

6. Budget carefully – but be realistic, making sure you enjoy yourselves

7. Buy digital versions of course textbooks

8. Avoid cheap laptops

9. Don’t worry about making your best friends in the first week

10. Choose modules you are genuinely interested in

11. Don’t worry about impressing others

12. Be open-minded – be willing to say yes

13. All-night study sessions are not fun – try not to do them

14. Get a diary or calendar

15. Talk to course mates about your coursework

16. Buy your own printer

17. When meeting housemates for the first time try breaking the ice with food, drinks, snacks

18. Move into shared accommodation

19. Eat or cook in communal spaces

20. Take some small mementos to remind you of home

21. Show willing – be on hand to help others

22. Avoid snogging housemates

23. Knock on hall of residence cohabitees’ doors and say hello

24. Pizza is the perfect hangover food

25. Don’t be the one with a car

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