TAB GRAD says… always have pudding. And other fresher tips.
We’ve got our resident graduate to share his wisdom. Fresh meat? Read this.
FURNITURE IS A WASTE OF MONEY
You need a bed, and a wardrobe. A desk will probably be handy. Them’s the minimum requirements. You can get away without bookshelves or a chest of drawers by piling. That’s right, just storing things such as books, folders or underwear in a vertical fashion is far more economic than purchasing new furniture, even if Ikea is just a short bus trip away.
You’re a university student, and if for some reason your new bedroom isn’t quite fully furnished it’s no biggy, and the money you might otherwise spend on that Argos Value Pine Cabinet can be utilised elsewhere. The most pretentious thing I’ve heard so far? “But I need matching furniture.”
A BAG OF FROZEN MIXED VEG BEATS ALL
Fruit and veg is surprisingly expensive unless you use all that fresh stuff at both lunch and dinner seven days a week. It can also go off annoyingly quick, even if you aren’t that fussy about the exact level of decay you deem reasonably edible. Solution? Frozen veg. It doesn’t have to be used as just an accompaniment to Chicken Kievs or anything, either.
You can throw it in salads, pasta bakes, stir frys – you name it, Frozen Veg can do it. There should be no shame in making use of this most malleable of ready-meal ingredients. I’m sure you can live without the courgettes, cauliflowers and beetroot and instead enjoy a portion of bog standard peas, sweetcorn and carrot. Have a glass of apple juice for breakfast and a banana for brunch and that’s your five a day sorted too.
DISCOVER YOUR LIMITS
If you’re heading to University for the experiences as well as the degree, chances are you’ll be looking to come across an alcoholic unit or two. If you’ve never really been a heavy drinker before, or are new to the world of double vodka red bulls, jagerbombs and an assortment of other refined tipples, you might want to first find out your “drunk levels” pretty sharpish. In those first few nights out, make sure you register what you’re drinking and clock how many it takes for you to feel slightly inebriated.
You want to make sure you don’t go overboard the first few nights – while this sounds fun, you have a higher chance of making an idiot of yourself and without having made some leeway with your new friends, there’s also a higher chance they’ll happily ditch you, leaving you alone and drunk in a new place.
Discover your limits, work with them, and know your friends before that first drink-every-drink-in-existence night. Which will probably be the Wednesday or Thursday of Freshers week. This works as a metaphor for quite a lot of other experiences, including taking illicit substances, or listening to dubstep.
ALWAYS HAVE PUDDING
There are no two ways about it, your time at university is basically your last years of freedom before hitting the bill-paying, child-bearing, cholesterol-watching charade that is adulthood. You may think it’s all about becoming an adult but really the drinking binges and jaffa-cake scoffing are no different to that final fling at completing pokemon one last time, or getting a happy meal at McDonalds. While university is your first chance to begin reinventing oneself to be the adult you are at graduation, it’s also the last chance you have to be fat/drunk/lazy/bearded/slutty without it really affecting your future job prospects or relationships. So never turn down pudding if you go out for a meal, because in a few years time you won’t get that chance.
And a few home truths…
FIRST YEAR IS THE BEST YEAR
The academia doesn’t matter, halls are amazing, and you have a whole new city to explore. Everything gets a bit tougher in subsequent years and you never get around to seeing *all* of your friends from halls enough, so make the most of those first nine months.
APPLY TO GRAD SCHEMES AT THE START OF YEAR THREE
Don’t miss the window. If you only start looking at schemes at the end of third year or after graduation, chances are, even if you are successful, you won’t be in that job until a year or so after graduation. A lot of them have deadlines before December, and if you get one of them you’re set for a job pretty much right after uni. Look early.
DO AT LEAST ONE OTHER THING APART FROM STUDYING
Yes, get involved. Sing, dance, start a band, competitively play paintball, sports, do something for the environment, get a job, LARP, learn to cook, become a pole dancer, build a robot, start up a Subbuteo society (someone PLEASE DO THIS) – just make sure you find something that adds a third point to your university triangle, an addition to studying and socialising. At least that way, if you fuck one of them up, you still have a healthy, balanced life.