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5 things I really learnt at university

Updated on June 17, 2012

I am about to finish my 3 year course at university and as I look back at my experiences of university life, I have identified the 5 things which university has taught me outside the normal lectures and coursework assignments.

1. Choose your coursemates carefully

University assignments can be hard, complicated and very long-winded therefore having a friend there with you can really help you get through a difficult time. However, the people you choose to hang around with can have a drastic affect on the grade that you get for your assignments, because having a friend that is aiming for a grade lower then yours can make working a lot more difficult as you may find that they are taking from you more then you are gaining from them. Although having a friend that is aiming for the same grade as you can mean you can push each other to do well and share notes with one another to ensure that you both fully understand the unit topic. Obviously they need to be someone who you will get along with and share similar interests, but remember you are at university to get a good grade in your degree and having a dependable friend can really help with that. Don't be suckered into being that guy who does everyone else's assignments!

Dirty kitchen

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2. Be tolerant to housemates habits (within reason)

University is when most teenagers will move away from home and live with other teenagers in a shared house or flat. This means that you won't get the same experiences and luxuries that you do at home, because people are brought up differently, under different rules and expectations. So whether you like the dishes to be cleaned straight away or need to drink everyday or enjoy music blaring all day and night, you need to remember that your housemate won't be used to it so some compromises will have to be made within the house. Try not to turn it into an argument, instead have house meeting where all problems can be brought up and some rules can be put into place to make living together a lot more enjoyable. But from my own experience some habits can never be excused (e.g. picking toe-nails in the living room- never ever!)

3. Don't forget your friends at home

Going to university can mean moving to a completely different city, miles away from the friends you grew up and went school with. Inevitably you going to make new friends at university and lots of them who will open you to new experiences where you will get new life time memories, which will be great and a lot of fun. But, you should never forget about the friends who helped make you the person you are today, so instead of having "home friends" and "uni friends" integrate both groups so that you don't isolate some of your friends. Invite some of your home friends up to your university for a weekend when there are special nights occurring at university or invite some uni friends back to your hometown for your birthday. Just remember the friends you make at university shouldn't replace your friends at home, instead they should be an extension of your current friends list.

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4. Remember the hidden costs

Student life can be expensive, very expensive! So many students try and use a budget to help them manage their money and ensure they can afford things. Whether you're going out for drinks, buying a take-away or even buying books, these are all costs that you would normally associate with going to university. However, you need to remember the things which you would have taken advantage of when you were living with parents. Obviously, you will have rent, bills and food shopping which I'm sure you are aware of, but what about the key essential like toilet paper, washing powder, toothpaste, haircare and washing up liquid. Items like these are obvious necessities yet are often overlooked when people think about the new costs they will incur when they attend university.

5. Make the most of it

I am about to finish my life at university and when you say "its been 3 years of my life" some may think that this is a considerable amount of time filled with 9am lectures, assignments and summer exams, but the truth is its gone by in a blink of an eye. If given the chance to go back to first year and do it all over again it is an option that 99% of graduates will gladly take, when you take into considerations the experiences and memories that you have gained in 3 years, I can only wish that it would last a little longer. So don't take your time their for granted remember to do well in your degree and to put in as much effort as possible in your assignments, but during your free time make it count, make memories and discover more experiences.

So there you have it, a list of just some of the things I have learnt at being in university, I understand that experiences may differ but I think as an overall guide it could be helpful for future students. Please feel free to share your own views on my list and please offer some things that you have learnt during your time at uni in the comment section below.

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