ABOUT to throw yourself into the craziness that is student life at Chichester University? Unsure of what to expect? Well, Levi Winchester has done the reading for you and has come up with some top tips for surviving university life...
Starting university can be one of the most thrilling yet scariest experiences you will go through. With no-one to cook and clean for you and essays the size of a dictionary to complete, you may wonder; how on earth will you cope?
Trying to make your student loan stretch to cover food, books and other essentials can prove tough, but it is manageable.
If the temptation to spend your loan as soon as it comes out proves too much, seperate and budget your funds so you know exactly how much money you have to spend on what. “I used to pay off my rent in block sums using all my loan because then whatever is left can be used for other stuff,” said Ben Sandford, Chichester University musical theatre graduate.
Scouting the supermarkets for the best deals will prove worthwhile when the money you save adds up to a pint down the pub. Do not let fancy brands fool you. Buying supermarkets’ own brands of food will save money in the long run. Chichester has several for you to choose from, including Iceland, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
Those moving into halls may find living with a bunch of strangers to be a testament of tolerance, but it can also be one of the best ways to make friends at university.
Whether you are shy and reserved or the life and soul of the party, waiting for your new flatmates to approach you will only get you so far. Get yourself out there and get stuck in. “Be confident, friendly and want to know people,” said Ben. Not only will you start to make friends, you will find ways to work together to make living in halls as easy as possible. Little things like cleaning rotas will prevent conflict and ensure no-one is left dealing with last week’s washing-up.
Aside from those you live with, the university also provides ways to help you make friends with people who share your interests.
“There are loads of different societies at university which anyone can join, even if it doesn’t relate to their course, so finding friends and meeting new people is easy,” said Ben.
Initially, the workload may seem overwhelming, but if you break it down into smaller chunks it will be easier to digest.
“Don’t let your work pile up,” said Will Harwood, Chichester University accounting and finance graduate. “Plan when you’re going to do each piece.” Once you find out your essay deadlines and exam dates, start to plan out when you will have appropriate amounts of time to complete each task or revise. WH Smiths in town stocks academic diaries to help you organise yourself and keep on top on your studies.
Once you have a schedule, stick to it. Leaving it until the last minute will cause yourself unnecessary levels of stress and you will not work to the best of your ability. “I always tried to get all my outstanding work done by Thursday, so then if I went out clubbing, I would have nothing to worry about,” said Will.
There are two student union bars to choose from; Zee bar at the Chichester campus and the newly-redesigned establishment, The Hub, at the Bognor Regis campus. Or if you are out for a night on the town, fear not, for Chichester has a host of pubs for everyone. There are two Wetherspoons in the shape of Dolphin and Anchor in town and Lloyds Bar in Chichester Gate Leisure Park. “I’m always a massive fan of Wetherspoons. Very cheap,” said Ben. “Also look out for Slug & Lettuce in town, they always have deals on there!”
If you fancy a little something different, head down to West’s Bar, opposite Chichester Cathedral, to enjoy cocktails in a beautiful church setting. Or if sport is your passion, The Globe, situated next to Chichester train station, is the proud owner of a 103-inch plasma screen TV and always hosts the biggest games alongside an ice-cold beer.
Once you have worked your way round these, take your dancing shoes down to Thursdays nightclub in Oving. Buses run regularly from the town centre to the nightclub until the early hours.
See? Nothing to fear. Follow this advice and, in the wise words of Ben: “Make the most of it and have fun!”