Becoming a student is exciting in a lot of ways, and there’s plenty that you need to prepare for.
But here’s something you might not have prepared for at all – the fact that it’s not all go, go, go! In fact, once the parties of freshers’ week have settled down and the deadlines aren’t looming for a while, there’s actually a lot of down time.
Join a society
From cheerleading to politics, there’s bound to be something at your university for you to get involved in.
Societies give you a sense of community with like-minded people, and also the opportunity to try things you haven’t had chance to before. When you’re focused on being an activist or being part of a team, there’s no time to be bored – and you’re being productive as well.
Apps are everything these days – often we don’t have much around us to keep us entertained, but we do have our phones. Not everything has to be go, go, go – relaxing is imperative as well.
While getting a TV is a bit of a waste of time in student halls (who wants to pay a license fee, anyway?), that doesn’t mean you want to go without a Netflix binge. And now that Netflix has its own app available, you don’t have to be glued to your laptop or TV.
Of course, TV and social media scrolling aren’t the only things you can do from your phone, so why not try some gaming or an online casino instead? The Mr Green App is easy to find on the App Store. There are over 500 slot games and even tournaments, to give you something to focus on when work is light.
Get back into reading
It’s a sad but true fact – less of us than ever are taking to reading. University will have you reading books until you’re up to your eyeballs, but how many of these will actually be read for fun?
Reading for pleasure gives you a bit of time away from your screens (unless of course you’re using a Kindle), and it also means that you’re likely to benefit in an abundance of ways. Readers are often more creative, less stressed and more understanding of a range of situations – all brilliant traits to have while at uni.
Do a spot of volunteering
Plenty of organisations across the UK are constantly looking for volunteers – this is a great way to give back to the community and even make new friends.
Think about what you’re really interested in – this might be women’s causes, children, wealth inequality, or perhaps homelessness – and then find an organisation that really aligns with your ideals. Many places will ask for a commitment and expect you to attend plenty of training, especially if you’re working closely with actual individuals in the community, but you can find short-term opportunities as well.
As an added bonus, you get to feel pretty good about yourself (and it’ll look great on your CV).
Look for work experience
It might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but finding a job while you’re studying can be a lifeline for everything from your finances to your future career prospects.
Even something as seemingly unrelated to your degree as bar work or retail could give you skills that future employers really want to see.
And, even though it’s early days, you could even look for some career-related internships as well. These will help you get an idea of what you actually want to do or be later.
University isn’t all study, study, study – or party, party, party. You can get a balance of each, while still being a well-rounded woman doing other things as well!