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Top Tips For Starting At University

Top tips for making the best of uni, so you spend more time thinking about what you did, rather than what you wish you had done. Written by former student Christian Webb.

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1. Make the most of first year


Join a society. Try a new sport. Learn a new language. Go on some of the many trips arranged by the Student’s Union. Explore your new city. The first year is there for you to enjoy, for you to learn how you work best and how you relax in between. No doubt you’ll make some excellent friends along the way.

2. Discover the city

Wherever you decide to go, make sure you explore beyond the student area of your city. Like independent cinema and fancy food? Try Chapter Arts Centre in Canton. Fancy a walking tour of Welsh history? Go to St Fagan’s Museum of Welsh Life. Do you like coffee? Cardiff has a buzzing independent coffee scene, so try out Little Man Coffee, Uncommon Ground, Early Bird, Coffi Bank, Lufkin and Quantam.

3. Use your student discount offers

Many shops, cafes, supermarkets and restaurants offer students big discounts! Student discount can even be applied online, so you can save money when you’re spending your student loan on a new pair of shoes (we’ve all been there!). Also, look out for other student offers from things such as broadband to bank accounts.

4. Immerse yourself in your course

Amongst the partying, the making friends, the societies, the sports, the cups of coffee in cute coffee shops in Cardiff’s arcades, the main reason why you came to University was to study. For me, this was the first time I was surrounded by people who shared the same passion for my subject, and I was being lectured by people who lived and breathed their subject areas.

5. Take advantage of student services

From Careers and Employability service, Global Opportunities Centre, hardship funds and counselling. The University is there to support you – so take advantage of all the services it has to offer!

6. Don’t rush on housing

In the first few months (and even weeks!) of first year, there already seems to be a massive pressure to decide who you’ll be living with in your second year and finding a place to live. Take your time, try different agencies, do lots of viewings, and take plenty of notes/pictures. Cardiff is a huge city with loads of student housing.

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