Managing First Year 101 – OurWarwick

Managing First Year 101

Isabel Quah | Language, Culture and Communication Contact Isabel

After having experienced a successful first year at Warwick, I have learned so much from these past three terms and if I could go back in time and give my naive fresher self any words of advice, these would be a mixture of tips ranging from budgeting, food prep and overall how to handle the hustle and bustle of newfound university life.

Budgeting has always been a bit of a struggle for me, and as my parents would like to say I tend to have a “hole in my pocket”- in other words whatever money comes in, normally goes straight out. Being in university has taught me a lot about budgeting and being more smart and diligent with my spending. Being an international student, tuition is significantly much more expensive than that of home students and with my parents already pocketing out so much cash for tuition, with additional costs of text books, and living expenses, I figured if I really wanted to enjoy my first year to the fullest without breaking the bank I needed to earn my share.

Luckily I was and still am able to earn a little extra money on the side, along with the budget my parents allocated for me to cover basic living costs on a monthly basis. Applying to multiple jobs via Unitemps has been a lifesaver and finding the various part time job opportunities really helps build work experience which always is a plus for your constantly developing CV. It also aids in character development and learning essential skills revolving around time management, communication and problem solving. Upon first arriving at uni, I knew I wanted to be able to get involved with a part time job but I did not know where to begin searching. I just recall seeing the Unitemps booth set up during multiple fresher events and grabbing fliers, but never really properly looking at them. One thing for sure, is that applying through Unitemps if you are seeking to earn some extra cash on the side is definitely the way to go and luckily enough, I did end up doing just that.

With regards to feeding yourself, if you really want to be able to have a well balanced meal without constantly living on takeout or frozen foods, not that those are bad food choices (everything in moderation), but meal prepping is a big life saver when it comes to saving money and time. Yes many students tend to be lazy when it comes to cooking and all the dreaded washing up that follows is indeed very tedious, but by allocating a certain time during the weekend to cook the upcoming weeks meals in bulk was something I personally found to be the most efficient method, to make sure I was eating healthy balanced meals.

Finally, make sure you are not afraid to try new things and interact with different people. There is always that safe zone when it comes with staying within the circle you are comfortable with, but on occasions when you do feel like stepping out of this comfort zone, is where you may be treated with potential surprises that may influence your life in a positive manner. Always remember that balance is the key to surviving your first year, and the coming years to follow. Yes partying and attending every single, Kasbah, Smack, POP, Neon, outing may sound like your cup of tea, but just make sure you don’t fall drastically too behind on course work and readings! Most importantly (last but not least), don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your first year to the fullest!

Isabel Quah | Language, Culture and Communication Contact Isabel

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