Thursday, 10 August 2017

5 ways northumbria university changed my life

So, it’s around this time of year that a lot of you are exploring your options after receiving your A-Level results. Maybe you didn’t do as well as you hoped and you’re now trying to look for other ways into uni. It might even be that you’ve done a lot better than you thought, and you’re now looking to see if you can get onto a course that requires higher grades. Either way, don’t panic on results day - there is plenty of help and support available, especially through Clearing! Go to the UCAS website where you can view the full list of vacancies available through Clearing at all universities. If there’s a particular university you’re interested in, you can go direct to their website to see their available courses!

Going to university was always something I knew I was going to do. Unfortunately, this was mostly because of pressure from my parents, but luckily it was also something I knew I was ready for, and ended up being a time in my life that taught me so much about myself. It’s safe to say there’s no experience quite like it, especially if you have some growing up to do like I did!

When I was contacted by Northumbria University (the university I attended for my degree in Performance a few years ago now) I jumped at the chance to write this post! Northumbria is ranked top 10 in the UK for student facilities in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2016-17, and I can completely see why – I had an amazing 3 years there and can definitely vouch for the great reputation they’re building for themselves!

You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m completely pro-university, and so I thought I’d give you all a list of 5 life lessons I learned during my time at Northumbria University that I don’t think I would have learned if I went straight into work!

No.1 There are so many different types of people in the world

…and I definitely didn’t realise just how true this was until I got to uni! I think we all get so wrapped up in our own bubble, in our own communities as kids and teens, and being surrounded by people from all over the UK and even the world was a big eye opening to so many new cultures and ways of living! Although it can be daunting at first, it definitely makes you a much more well-rounded and understanding person on the flip side! Yeah, you might slip up and say the wrong thing, or get your ‘facts’ completely wrong, but you’ll soon learn to embrace the knowledge and cultures around you, and you’ll become all the better for it!

No.2 Managing money is freakin’ difficult

I know a lot of people get taught a lot of lessons on the value of money by their parents, but I honestly don’t think anything can quite prepare you for the money-responsibilities a lot of us face when heading to uni! At first it feels like a curse, your loan comes in and you feel like a millionaire, then 3 weeks later you’re raking for change to buy a loaf of bread – the struggle is real! But you definitely become so much better with this sort of thing as your time at uni goes on. I was never a saver before uni, and now I always make sure I have some pennies for a rainy day and that’s all down to the hard lessons I learned when I got to uni!

No.3 There won’t always be someone there to hold your hand

Also this one leads on perfectly from the last point, it also applies to a lot more than just money. When I first got to uni, the responsibility I had to take for my own actions was a little bit overwhelming! All of a sudden I had flat mates I had to keep happy by washing my own dishes, and lecturers who expected so much more of me and my own work, than any sixth form teacher ever did! There’s no one there telling you what you’re doing wrong; your disgruntled flat mates / failed exams / empty bank account will quickly do that for you! But you know what? It’s a lesson I learned VERY quickly and completely prepared me for more of the same in the real world! Living in Sunderland, I'm so glad I made the decision to go to a new city for university - it was close enough for a trip home, but far enough to soak in the whole experience!

No.4 How to ‘make do’ and like it

This went for a lot of things, food, money, clothes, trips home, and so much more. Before uni, there was little that my parents wouldn’t help me out with, or even just do for me themselves. But at uni, there’re only so many times you can call your ‘rents to tell them that you spent all your money on beer and burgers, and you need some food-shop money, again… Uni quickly taught me that if there was just beans in the cupboard and 20p in the bank, I was having beans for tea. And if I wanted anything more, I had to take responsibility and save more/spend less next time I had £££. The same for when I wanted a pretty new stationery set or new shoes. If I didn’t have the means, then it was tough! This is such a great lesson to have learned, as the real world is full of times like these. Being content with what you have is the key to being happy

No.5 That it’s the most free and exciting time of your life

…So it’s so important to make the most of your time at university! Yeah, you’ll have times when you don’t feel like you don’t understand everyone around you, or times when your wallet is drained, and even times when you want to go home and cry to your parents. But believe me, there’ll never be another point in your life where you have the freedom to learn so much – not just from a book, but from the people and places around you. Soak it all in and enjoy every single moment – you deserve it!

Northumbria University has a limited number of places available for high quality students through Clearing this summer. For more information, visit, call the Clearing Hotline on 0800 085 1085 or download the app – search Clearing Guide 2017 (iOS)


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