Top tips for Cass students
So now that you’ve got an offer to study at City, University of London, you must be wondering what you need to do to be able to have a fun and unforgettable time at University- whilst still being thrifty, efficient with time and not feeling too stressed out.
I’m Zeba and I’m going into my 3rd year at City studying BSc Actuarial Science. Below are some tips I’ve composed from my first-hand experience of studying at City, living in student halls, as well as with family, and beating the notion that London is too expensive a city to live in.
Find new ways to make friends
Don’t wait until your first day at University to make friends. If you’re staying in student accommodation, get to know your flatmates- have dinner together, go shopping. That’s what I did!
If you’re staying at home for the year, try signing up to societies of your choice. There are all sorts of groups to suit everyone’s tastes and you never know how many lifelong friends you’ll meet there. Both of these are methods I used to meet my closest friends.
Cook your own food sometimes
Be adventurous! Even if it doesn’t end up tasting nice or things go wrong, it’s fine. Accept your mistake, move on and if worse comes to worst – order a takeaway! Cooking your own food is not only a great way to learn something new, it’s also quite a fun activity to do with a friend or flatmate and best of all, you save SO much money. Try easy pasta recipes, boiling potatoes to eat with cheese and beans or tuna salad or even a grilled cheese sandwich. These things require minimal effort, money and mess = perfect for a student.
Explore, Explore, Explore.
In my first year of university, I often found myself wondering around the City on my own. Yes, I know it sounds like I didn’t make many friends from my first tip, but sometimes they would go home for the weekend and I’d be left to my own devices. You’d be surprised how much you’d enjoy a 30-minute walk down the road, and soon you’ll start to remember those roads like the back of your hand. I used to have to travel to Kings Cross every Tuesday and Soho every Wednesday which could take approximately 15 and 35 minutes by bus respectively, but if you add another 10 minutes, you could get there by walking, for free (and I have tiny legs!). This does wonders for your physical AND mental health and makes a 20-minute walk seem like nothing. Obviously if it’s raining then you have public transport, but at least you will genuinely know where places are in the city, rather than just hearing about them from the overhead announcements in the bus or the underground.
Keep a budget
It might be a wise idea if you’re really into saving money to keep a monthly spreadsheet. Each month document where you’ve spent money into different categories for example, food, clothes, travel, rent. This will tell you how much money you spend on a certain category every month and you will be more mindful of it for the next month. It doesn’t necessarily help you save hundreds of pounds but it is an ideal way of tracking your finances and keeping a rough budget of how much money you will allow yourself to spend in a certain category.
DON’T LEAVE STUDYING TO THE LAST MINUTE. No matter what year you’re in, it’s really tempting to enjoy all year and study at the last minute, but trust me this isn’t the right way to go. Sure, you might end up with a 2:2 or maybe even get a lucky 2:1 but it doesn’t always work out this way and you will find yourself cramming, and then scrapping for marks in the exam. If you understand the content, you are more likely to score higher marks and do well.
Instead of wasting your money on clothes, makeup or unnecessary things, why not save some money each week towards a short weekend trip? If you search flights carefully, you can often find cheap tickets to all different parts of Europe. Find a travel buddy and travel places you wouldn’t otherwise go to. This way you can utilise your weekends to have a truly fun trip but also it will motivate you to complete studying and coursework before you go! I travelled to 9 different countries in one year alone, which all motivated me to study harder in the time that I had. Bear in mind that most of these were long weekend holidays – so they were totally worth it.