How To Do Uni Right

Advice from a postgrad who sorta didn’t.


Dun, dun, dun…It’s that time of year again, the dreaded back to school season. For many September marks the return to normality, but for others, it marks the beginning of a brand-new adventure – university. Those embarking on this journey will already know the difficulties that registration and moving home brings, as September (read: Freshers) promptly ended last week, but that doesn’t mean it gets any easier for students here on.   

If you’re anything like me, October will be one of the most confusing and testing months of the year. It’s a sort of limbo month, where nobody really knows what they’re doing, and everyone’s scared to admit it. Freshers is over, but the hard part of uni, i.e. essays and exams, are far from being an issue (yet). This leaves a lot of time to think, or rather, ask yourself what the hell you’ve gotten yourself into. 

Fear not, this is a valid concern, but luckily for you, I’ve created a list of tips to help you out. Coming from a postgrad who made it through to the other side, save yourself the trouble and just take my advice. This is how to do uni right – I know because I sorta didn’t.   

1. If you haven’t already, make your room your sanctuary. 

I’m talking posters on walls, throw cushions on beds, plants everywhere, and if you’re as basic as I am, some good ol’ fashioned fairy lights. You’re going to be spending at least the next year in that room, so you owe it to yourself to transform it from prison cell, to something you can proudly bring your tinder date home too.  

2. Buy some fucking slippers. 

Anyone who’s ever shared a house with people will be nodding profusely at this one. Trust me when I say this, people are NOT as clean as you. Your kitchen floor will be absolute proof of this. Unless you fancy walking around with crumbs/shreds of cheese/bean juice on your feet, invest in some slippers. And no, socks will not cut it.  

3. Buy earplugs. 

People at uni have a lot of sex. Moving on… 

4. Don’t mix spirits.  

As the saying goes, it’s all shits and giggles, until someone giggles and shits. Mixing spirits is never a good idea as it leads to loss of control. And we mean total loss of control. Sound like a strange, specific anecdote? You’d think so, but you’d be wrong. Take it from me who’s heard more horror stories than I’d like to – that vodka/gin concoction is never going to be worth it.   

5. Play Cards Against Humanity, (or some other, equally controversial game) with your flatmates. 

Better yet, be the one who turns up with it at pres. There’s no better way to break the ice than to play a game of Cards Against Humanity. Not only is it hilarious but it’s also a great way to discover more about the people you live with. (And a helpful agent in learning who to avoid!) 

6. Take a late-night trip to the supermarket. 

Don’t ask me why, but there’s something magical about going to Tesco at 12pm in your pyjama bottoms and winter coat. With a friend of course – I do not advise venturing into the great night alone. Some of my fondest memories were made in Tesco aisles, from drunkenly buying snacks to binge after a night out, to pity-purchasing pick’n’mix after a particularly shitty day. Supermarkets are the foundation of any great friendship. And that is a fact.  

7. Speaking of friendships, check yourself before you wreck yourself. 

Note to self: living with people takes some serious compromise. Instead of getting pissed at your family for not warning you of this fact, take it upon yourself to learn some self-control. Okay, so the kitchen looks like a warzone, and Henry hoover hasn’t been put to use by anyone but you, but is it worth losing your cool over? Take it from me, it’s not fun being the Karen of the group. If you can help it, take a deep breath, and move on, if you can’t, go somewhere private and scream into your hands. It’s a tried and tested technique.  

8. Take photos, of everything. 

Everything is an occasion at uni, which means photo opportunities crop up constantly. Trips to Ikea, flat meals, study sessions, and nights out are just a few events deserving of a photograph – or several hundred. My advice is to buy a polaroid, and secondary to that, not to waste all of your film on blurry drunken selfies, (though they make for pretty good pictures).  

9. Take breaks, and lots of them.  

By that I mean breaks from work and people. It’s sorta crucial for point 7. There’s a lot of pressure at uni to be super social and ‘fun,’ and not many people tell you it’s okay to just chill out once in a while. So here I am, telling you to chill out. You don’t need to bust a nut to get a first, and you certainly shouldn’t have to break your back making mates, so take it easy.  

10. And finally, BE YOURSELF! 

I know, gross, but here me out. You’re (likely) going to be at uni for three years, and unless you’re a theatre student, keeping up a persona for that long will be painful. Do yourself a favour and let your guard down sooner than later. Trust me when I say this, you are not as weird as you think. 

OH! and study, obviously… 


Up Next, Find Your Force! How To Overcome Your Social Anxiety.