After an interesting (to say the least) first year experience and a want to help other people who are in the same position that I was in a year ago, I decided to start writing this post to share my tips for getting through your first year at University.

I've said it once and I'll say it again, each individuals University experience is different; some of my friends have had the time of their life during first year, whereas some have had more of an up and down experience. As I like to say, it's all a learning curve. Anyway, on to my (hopefully helpful) tips for starting University...

1. Don't go in expecting yourself to like everyone, it probably won't happen and that's ok, we are human and we are allowed to find some people incredibly annoying

2. Using social media to talk to your new flat mates and course mates before you arrive is a good way of easing yourself into meeting new people 

3.  Setting a budget can be helpful but don't worry if you can't always stick to it - some weeks you're going to spend more than others but as long as you're sensible with your money, don't stress yourself out over it too much

4. You don't need to sign up for every single society but going to taster sessions during Freshers week can be useful. I signed up for quite a few societies during first year and only actually ended up participating in things for 2 of them 

5. Sometimes, bulk buying food isn't best (despite people constantly telling you that it is) because there's only one of you and it's unlikely that you'll be able to eat a family pack of something before it goes out of date 

6. While your lecturers may not take attendance, try to go to as many lectures as you can so you're not watching 3490271 recorded lectures for the first time the week before exams. This is the same for coursework too, while it may be easy to leave that essay until the weekend before the deadline, thinking it'll be fine to power through it over 48 hours, you'll be putting yourself through a lot more stress

7. Referencing will be the bane of your life and it might seem daunting at first (especially if you've never done it before) but, it's honestly not that bad and you get used to it taking more time than the piece of work itself - my top tip is to use CiteThisForMe because it is honestly a lifesaver

8. Buy a DishMatic wash sponge because it was honestly my number one when it came to washing up for the whole of first year and if we didn't have a dishwasher in second year, I would definitely be buying another one

9. If you don't want to drink alcohol, don't do it. If you don't want to go out to nightclubs, don't do it. People will understand and if they don't, you should probably find new people to be friends with

10.  Ultimately, don't go in to the experience expecting something that you've seen off of the likes of Fresh Meat. Don't force yourself to think it's going to be the best 3 or 4 years of your life and basically, just see where it goes for you because it can be so different to how you first imagined

What's your top tip for starting University? Let me know!