You may be wondering whether going to university is the right path for you once you finish college or A-Levels. It can be a difficult decision to make if you don’t know enough about what the experience will entail. Being a university student isn’t always easy as there are so many aspects to get used to, but it will no doubt be one of the most memorable experiences in your life. If you’re hoping to go to university in the near future but want to find out more about whether it’s for you, here are a few things you need to know which may help you make the decision.
1. Your student loan won’t stretch as far as you think
The truth of the matter is, you’re going to have to cut back on spending when you become a student. Your student loan won’t stretch as far as you think, meaning you could be left short in the first few weeks of starting university. However, by taking the time to budget on a weekly basis, you won’t risk falling into financial difficulty. Ensure you have enough cash to pay for everyday necessities such as toiletries, food and your accommodation costs, as well as saving some money for the ‘luxuries’ every now and again; whether that be a night out with friends or new clothes. One way to get around your budgeting concerns would be to use a prepaid budgeting card. This will allow you to put a certain amount of cash on the card every month which can then be used to pay bills as well as all other expenses. Doing this means you’re much more likely to stick to a budget, rather than over-spending.
2. You don’t always have to pay back the loan
One of the biggest concerns which may be off-putting for many potential students is the huge loan taken out to pay for course fees and living expenses, which you are then expected to pay back once you have graduated. The average student in the USA has approximately $38,000 in university debt, for example. However, having to take out this loan shouldn’t put you off going to university, as in some cases the debt can be wiped entirely, regardless of how much is left to pay. It’s a scheme otherwise known as federal student loan forgiveness. There are certain rules and regulations that need to be complied with to determine whether you are eligible.
3. Your accommodation will be basic
In most cases, the accommodation at university won’t always be as plush as what you’re used to at home. It can sometimes feel bland and unhomely, meaning you’re going to have to put your own stamp on the place to make it feel warmer and cosier. University is often the very first time freshers have lived away from home, which can be an extremely daunting experience. However, adding your own décor will no doubt make you feel as though you have your own safe space that is personal to you.
4. Work hard
It may seem obvious, but putting your academic work as priority is fundamental if you wish to graduate. It can be very tempting to socialise every night, meet new people and boost your independence by exploring your new surroundings – leaving your workload on the backburner. Remember, that you’re at university to gain a qualification and enhance your career prospects. Don’t waste the opportunity or you may live to regret it.
5. You may be needing smart clothes
It’s the stereotypical thought that students spend the majority of their life in jeans and hoodies. However, you shouldn’t overlook the fact that there will be times when you’ll need smart clothes. It’s likely that your university will hold ceremonies which will require you to wear formal attire. Similarly, if you need the extra cash for living expenses, you may need to find a job, where smart dress will be required for interviews.
6. Take care of yourself
You may have heard of the dreaded ‘fresher’s flu’ and believed it was a myth, but it does, in fact, does exist in the form of a persistent cough and cold. Being in the company of new people, a new environment and having new responsibilities can fluctuate stress levels and force your immune system to lower, meaning you’re more likely to get a mild illness. If you do ever happen to be feeling a little ‘under the weather,’ keep an extra eye on your well-being.