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We’re two weeks in and it’s all going wrong: Here’s how to survive second semester

I’ll just recap it later

So, you've had your student loan, your exams have finished and all your mates are begging you to come out. Five nights out, approximately 30 trebs and one bitch of a hangover later, you've slept in on Monday morning, missed all of your lectures and realised February's rent's gone out and you now have 72p in your bank account.

Well, shit. This is how you can fix it.

1. Actually start attending your lectures

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You've had a few weeks to settle back in and miss some seminars. I know it sounds obvious, but making those 9am lectures and taking notes really helps. Don't be afraid to ask questions or email the lecturer if you don't understand something, because how many times have you told yourself you'd look something up later and never have? It's good to think in terms of the long run. The more notes you make now, the less you'll have to recap during exam week. And no one wants to be stuck with 37 lectures to recap four days before the exam (we've all been there).

2. Get off your phone or BE BRAVE and just leave it at home

So you quickly check your phone to reply to someone and suddenly two hours have passed and you're three years deep into your ex's Instagram looking at their holiday pictures from Ibiza. You have written four sentences of your essay (including the title given to you) and its due in two days. Shit.

I know leaving it at home feels like the equivalent of chucking your phone into the abyss, but hear me out. This works really well if you have an assignment due the next day and need to crack on and get it done. Tell your mum/dad/friends/significant other that you're going to be M.I.A. for a couple of hours, leave your phone at home and head down to the library. You'll get less distracted, get more work done and you'll be able to relax once you get home because your work is out the way.

Luckily there's a couple of great apps out there which encourage you to get off your phone, such as Flora and Hold. Flora grows a little tree as you stay off your phone, but if you need a little more encouragement, Hold gives you points for every 20 minutes you stay off your phone, which you can then use to purchase gift cards or donate to charity.

3. Earn some extra money – summer is coming

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There's a few months left and you want to have a mint summer finding yourself in Asia, so you need to start saving QUICK. A great way to get some extra cash is by taking part in studies at the university. These often pop up in semester two as final year students are working on their projects, so keep a look out for flyers! These are often dotted around the Med School (good spots are in the undergraduate common room and by the bottom floor lifts), as well as on the bottom floor of the Agriculture Building.

For very little effort on your behalf, you can score a £20 Eldon Square voucher. Some people can make around £150 per semester, perfect to subsidise your summer wardrobe. The best part is, a lot of these studies are kinda fun. Think £20 for drinking a can of coke and watching Planet Earth for three hours. Score.

4. Get a job

You've had your fun in semester one, it's now time to put some graft in. It can be hard to find a job in Newcastle, thanks to the huge student population but the careers service at Newcastle University has a scheme called JobsOC (Jobs On Campus) which offers temporary jobs to students. The benefit is that these pay fairly well, are flexible and don't require a huge commitment.

5. Stay healthy

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You said you'd be super healthy and hit the gym everyday when you came back after Christmas, but actually… you've been living on a diet of kebabs, alcohol and coffee so your body really hates you right now. I'm not asking you to go full fitness blogger and only eat kale and matcha green tea, just eat a vegetable every once in a while and drink enough water to balance out the alcohol – you'll thank yourself.

Now is the time for you to actually start using that gym membership you used once last semester. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and contribute to better mental health and there's no time like the present to get back to the gym or go for a run. An easy way to do this is instead of taking the metro, walk to uni or invest in a bike. Plus, the more you work out the more excuses you have to buy gym clothes and who doesn't love that.

6. Be grocery savvy

It's easy to get stuck in a cycle of popping down to Sainsbury's Local or Waitrose for a cheeky meal deal or oven dinner, but its expensive and adds up. Going to Grainger Market every now and then to stock up on meat and veg is cheaper and has the added benefit of supporting local, independent businesses. Many of the stalls there also offer student discounts and deals such as three packs of various cuts of meat for £5 or eight chicken wings for 99p – BARGAIN.

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Alternatively, take a trip down to Lidl or Aldi. Even if it's a bit out of the way, get a few of your friends together and split the Uber there and back, the cost of which is easily covered by the amount you're saving by not going to Tesco Metro.

7. Stop getting take away coffee all the time!

Stop it! There is sometimes nothing better than getting a nice vanilla latte and heading off to lectures feeling like a boujee bitch. Nothing. But those £3 coffees add up even though it feels like spare change at the time. As an alternative, get a slightly fancy jar of coffee granules. Now for your £3, you can have 20 coffees instead of one. Plus, reusable coffee cups are cute as and get you a 25p discount at most coffee shops once you decide to splurge.

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8. Go out less

YES THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR. You don't need to go tee-total and never go out again. Maybe be a bit more selective with your nights out. Going out is both expensive and time-consuming, and if you go out properly you'll be waking up with a raging hangover and lose two thirds of the next day.