The ages of 18 to 22 are incredibly formative, and lay witness to many students figuring out who they are, and building the foundations for their career. But, what would you tell your younger self if you had the opportunity?
In this blog post, recent Maths and Statistics graduate, Charlie, lays down her sage words of wisdom for 18 year olds who are following in her footsteps and enrolling at Newcastle University in 2020. Read on to find out what her learnings were.
this is 22-year-old you as a Newcastle University graduate.... That's right, you graduated and you have been working for 8 months in higher education outreach.
So listen up, here’s some advice about the next few years – how to get the most out of university.
Try new things
Take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way. Newcastle University has over 160 societies for you to join and 65 different sports clubs.
Doing as much as you can will help you meet people across the university, make friends in different pockets of your life and will absolutely help you to get a job.
You can take part, represent the uni, represent your course and/or be on the committee. Doing as much as you can will help you meet people across the university, make friends in different pockets of your life and will absolutely help you to get a job.
Using your extra-curricular activities as evidence of transferable skills is something you will already know about from writing your personal statement. Carrying on doing this throughout university and your adult life will help you to stand out from the crowd and display immense time-management skills. Join and try out new sports and societies whilst you’re at university because you’ll never have this much spare time again, plus it won’t ever be as cheap as it is whilst you’re a student!
Strike a balance
Being a student can be hard work and to get the end result you need to put a lot of time and effort in. It is however, so important to take a break. At the end of your 3+ years you will hopefully come away with a luxury piece of card stating your degree title and class on it. But, it is the memories that will stick with you and not many of the wow ones will have started with ‘this one time I was sat in the library’ when someone asks you what university was like.
Maintain healthy wellbeing, get into good habits around your work ethic and make time for yourself too.
Which brings me onto my next piece of advice – look after yourself. University can be stressful and everyday life can take it’s toll at any stage in life so make sure you manage your health, physical and mental, appropriately. Firstly, check what support is available at the university you’ve applied to, can they support you and any specific requirements you have to enable you to succeed? Let any universities know of any adaptations, academically and generally, you may need so that things can be put into place before you start studying. Maintain healthy wellbeing, get into good habits around your work ethic and make time for yourself too.
At Newcastle Uni there are new initiatives in place to help all students uphold positive wellbeing: Borrow Bessie the little Jack Russell and take her for a walk around the campus and parks, Pianos on Campus, the act of playing/listening to a musical instrument can help us savour a moment of ‘time out’ in the midst of a busy day, and not only for the benefit of the performer and regular meditation sessions lead by the Honorary Buddhist Chaplain.
Do your research
Finally, as for most, university is the first time you’ll be moving out of your family home and becoming independent. Make sure that you’ve done your research on the location of the university and its surroundings. Is the campus 40 minutes from the closest city? How far from an airport will you be? How near is the closest halls of residence to your course building? How expensive is it to live in the university location? Is it a well-equipped student city?
Newcastle for me/you was the best of both worlds being a Campus University right in the heart of Newcastle City centre. Situated 20 minutes from the beach, 25 minutes from the airport, and Northumberland National Park only 35 minutes in a car you couldn’t really be more perfectly placed for any outdoor activity. 1 in 6 people are a student in Newcastle so the abundance of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, art galleries and cinemas are all well pitched for a student population.
Hopefully some of the advice above will assure you that Newcastle is the best university for you and some notions to follow to create memories filled with happiness, laughter and many new friends for life.