1. Time is precious.
When you’re younger, a week feels like a year, a year feels like a decade. But the older you get the more time seems to fly by without you having a real chance to look around. It’s okay though, as it’s never too late to realise how precious things are.
2. Little things matter.
When your housemate makes you a cup of tea. When you find time to speak to both parents on the same day (My daughter of the year award must be in the post…) When you find that fiver you hid from yourself last week screwed up in your coat pocket. Little things matter.
3. Family mean a lot.
“Your chins are bigger than your tits” – Quote from a family day in my house last weekend. (Not said to me, I’m pleased to report.) It’s rare to find a group of people who share the exact same humour, but when you do there’s nothing quite like it…
4. Friends are essential.
Having that housemate who always seems to crave takeaway at the same time as you. Having that coursemate who finds the exact same things about uni so frustrating and/or hilarious. Having that best friend who knows your exact favourite bottle of wine to bring round when you’re in need. Friends help drown out the stress of uni and remind you that things really aren’t all that bad.
5. Laughing every day keeps you sane.
Having a sense of humour helps. Getting your car locked in the uni car park overnight after staying in editing until 7pm is NOT something to cry about. Just think of it as a story to laugh about in the future. Little Kevin will still be there in the morning. (Speaking 100% from own experience, Kevin is the name of my little Ka.) They say laughter can add years to your life. No one dies laughing, after all.
6. It’s important to relax.
Okay, maybe not the night before your next deadline but having time to relax and unwind is a key part of uni.
7. Students are allowed to have fun.
In light of the 6th point, students should not always have to feel like they have to punish themselves for having fun. Yes there is always something productive you could be doing, but that doesn’t mean everything you do has to be productive.
8. It’s not the end of the world.
So the shower’s broken, the plug is stuck in the sink, we’ve missed bin day and it’s getting close to seeing your own breath in my freezing bedroom in our student house but do you know what? It’s not the end of the world. Things can be fixed, (Hooray – the new shower is like actual heaven on earth!!) and heaters can be purchased (mm toasty toasty).
9. The pub is a sacred place.
Every 300 calories consumed in each pint is just worth it sometimes. The pub is always a student’s friend. The pub doesn’t give you a 2:2 if you think you deserved a first, the pub doesn’t raise it’s eyebrows when you’re 5 minutes late, and the pub serves cider. No competition to uni, really.
10. Eating out is not something to feel guilty about.
So you’re 2 grand into your overdraft, what’s money anyway? The Burger Joint on Monday, Zizzi’s on Tuesday, Nandos on Wednesday. You’re only human.
11. Housekeeping is actually very difficult.
It’s your turn to take the bins out, and even though there is a clear rota up in the kitchen, this just isn’t something your brain can remember. But that’s okay! These responsibilities take some getting used to. The bin men will come again. Although I may have to adopt some extra washing up duties to make it up to my housemates…
12. £13.99 for a Dominoes doesn’t seem like very much, but chipping in £1.50 for loo roll and washing up liquid seems like buying your first house.
13. Uni is hard.
Time management, commitment, initiative are three things that you can’t do well at uni without. However, you may notice that these three things aren’t something you can be taught in a classroom. These come from hard work, personal improvement and a desire to show what you can do. Uni is hard, but that’s no reason to hate it. Life’s challenges are often what’s most rewarding.