Skip To Content
  • UK Student Week badge

24 Pieces Of Essential Advice That Every New Student Should Follow


We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us if they have any tips for how to survive and adapt to university life after freshers' week.

1. "Learn to cook. Even if it's just pasta and pesto and frozen veggies. I lived off pizza and ramen noodles the first year and it was the worst both for my weight and overall health."

Gracie Films / FOX / Via


2. "Don't buy a cookbook, even though you'll have countless student cookbooks marketed at you. Waste of money and lugging energy. Everything you need is online, and often the comments posted are very useful!"

Gracie Films / FOX

3. "Invest in a slow cooker (Tesco Direct do one for £14) and learn to cook a few basic cheap meals. My go-to uni meal was a simple chilli con carne that consisted of mince, onions, tinned chopped tomatoes, tinned beans, and chilli powder served with baked potatoes or boiled rice. It would feed four of us for just a couple of pounds."

Wikimedia / Via

4. "Make sure you get the top shelf in the fridge! If you have a flatmate that never throws away rotting food, you won't want their fridge juice dripping on yours!"

Bille Lile / Via (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) /

5. "If you're a scruncher, learn how to be a folder, because no one likes the dick who clogs the toilet and uses up all the toilet roll – that shit's expensive."

NBC / Broadway Video / Via

- Suggested by t4e7c47431

6. "DON’T BUY BOOKS! Most universities have a massive library and will have multiple copies of core textbooks for each course/module. If you REALLY want to buy a book, have a look at the ones suggested by lecturers in the library first."

Nickelodeon / Jack Mackie Productions

7. "If you're commuting, photocopy the pages from a book you'll need so you don't have to lug too many everywhere you go!"

Netflix / Imagine Television

8. "Don't feel like you have to throw yourself into every social event that your new friends/roomies are attending. If you don't feel comfortable or up for an event, there is no rule demanding you to attend."

Broadway Video / NBC / Via

9. "As corny as it sounds, college is a time to take risks. Be brave, and you won't regret it, I promise."


10. "Join societies! These are extremely important as they are a great way to meet people that genuinely share the same interests as you, as well as provide evidence to future employers that you actually spent time developing skills outside of study."

Jose Jordan / AFP / Getty Images

"For example, join the student magazine by writing music columns – it shows employers that you’re interested in working within the music industry and/or journalism."


11. "Honestly, and it will sound so lame, but do your assignments/projects when you're actually set-up them, because time creeps up on you and trust me, leaving it to the last minute is just the worst."

TBS / Conan / Via


12. "Call your loved ones, even if you don't feel the need. The transition to college can be harder on your family than you, as was the case with mine."

NBC / Broadway Video

13. "Laundry: Learn. How. To. Do. Your. Own. Yours sincerely, Your Mom Xxx"

Gracie Films / FOX / Via

14. "Use protection. Every single time. STIs suck."

15. "If staying in halls, get a good mattress protector – uni mattresses are never very comfortable."

16. "A tip from a university administrator: Be friendly and polite to us. We will always help you no matter what, but we will go that extra mile for a student who is nice to us. And talk to us if you need help. We get it – most of us have been students, and we know sometimes you need a helping hand."

OWN / Harpo Productions / Via

17. "Don't go home every weekend if you go to college close to home. It will make you miserable and hate college because you're not getting involved because you aren't doing social things on the weekends. Stay focused on being in college and adapting to a new life."

18. "You are going to want to quit about once a term, and that's OK. Just don't actually do it. Rant or cry about it to family or friends then carry on."

CBS / Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson / Via

19. "You don’t have to force yourself to be friends with your flatmates. I felt like a failure because I didn’t get on with them, but in reality they were horrible and discriminative people. I coped more when I distanced myself from them."

Lime Pictures / Channel 4 / Via


20. "Don't put any pressure on yourself – you cannot will yourself to enjoy things you don't, you can't do everything, and you can only do your best, so just do you and you'll have a blast."

NBC / 3 Arts Entertainment / Via Amazon Video

21. "Remember you are only at uni for limited time so fuck it if anyone has anything negative to say to you."

BBC / HBO/ VRT / / Via


22. "Remember that everyone is in the exact same position. Everyone is new and nervous and doesn't know their way around."

23. "Don't worry if university isn't immediately the 'best time of your life' that everyone promised it would be! I really struggled with anxiety and depression, and it was a really hard time for me. But stick with it: My final year of university was by far the best because I finally found the people I was meant to be with all along, and I would do all of it again for that final year."

BBC / Love Productions

"And even if you don't love it, you are bettering yourself, which should always be viewed as an achievement."


24. "Making friends doesn't happen immediately. I know this is where you're supposed to make your best friends, but don't worry if it takes you a little time to make some friends. Everyone is lonely at first, but your real friends will show up eventually."

Netflix / The Tornante Company

Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter for your chance to be featured in future BuzzFeed posts!

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Thank you to everyone who got in contact with tips.