4 pro tips to master the challenges of student life

Don't stress. Try to figure out just one (!) big thing per week.

Being a student is great, there are so many new things to experience, people to meet, things to learn.. But it can also be quite hard at times. Whether that’s dealing with the daily stresses of getting uni work done, juggling part-time jobs or navigating new relationships.

We spoke to the LifeStart Community and they told us about their biggest challenges and how they learnt to cope. 

Don’t stress. Try to figure out just one (!) big thing per week

One of the biggest hurdles that nearly everyone spoke about was independence. Whether that be having financial freedom for the first time or just control over your day to day, nearly everyone spoke about how difficult that can be. 

If you’ve been feeling like this, now you know that you’re definitely not alone! As Sarah W. from Birmingham University puts it, “The amount of freedom is both a blessing and a curse.” With multiple classes, friends and societies to factor in, often things can pile up. Being able to organise yourself efficiently is a huge skill that once you’ve cracked will be invaluable in the future. 

Plan fixed times for studying in your calendar 

Alex R. who attended Sheffield University found the balance between partying and studying the hardest to crack. One way to rebalance your time, is to set aside periods for studying whilst being realistic. If you have your student sports night on Wednesday night, don’t plan to get your studying for the week done on Thursday morning. Even if you manage to get up without a hangover, you’ll probably still be bleary and not in the right frame of mind. Personally, I always got my work done on Monday mornings. Sounds rough, but I often did very little Sunday night, so I could have my weekend to relax before starting the week by prepping everything in advance. 

You’ll have to find out what works for you, but ignoring something doesn’t mean it will disappear! As much as you hope it will!

Learn to budget! Don’t spend everything at once

Organisation doesn’t just come with time it can also be linked to money! For most people it’s the first time they’ll have a large amount of money landing in their account in one go (thank you student finance!). The first few weeks after that can be hard to budget for, especially when you think that you have an endless amount of cash. Connie H. who studied in Bath recommends that if you are living in an expensive city, try to take cash out rather than a card. It can be helpful in tracking spending. Especially in situations where you may lose track of how much you’re spending, like large groups of friends or on nights out. A really good app to keep track of who spent money on what is Splitwise, which will help you make sure you and your friends (or flatmates) spend money fairly. 

However, “don’t let [money] rule your life” Connie adds. As important as financial nous is, you should be able to have fun and enjoy being at uni. For even more tips for managing your finances you can read our blog post.

Accept things aren’t always perfect the first time 

Starting university can be overwhelming and you’re surrounded by new things and will be starting lots of new experiences. However, it’s also exciting and will one day provide you with great memories. Hopefully you’ll laugh about that time you burnt your toast every morning for a week, but that’s all the fun of being a student. I lived in student accomodation where someone would burn something everyday at the same time, nearly everyday, making the fire alarm go off. At the time it was so infuriating, but now I try and laugh it off. Embrace the independence all you can, and let us know what you’ve learnt since starting at uni! 

Want to share your tips and tricks and be featured in one of our future blog posts? Do so here!