10 PIECES OF ADVICE I WISH I COULD HAVE TOLD MYSELF BEFORE STARTING UNIVERSITY.

It's finally started to dawn on me that my time at university is coming to an end, after four (pretty much three if you forget placement) rollercoaster-filled years at Bournemouth. I'll save all the soppy reflecting on my time here until the semester is over, but for now I thought I'd write this post on things I wish I would have maybe done differently, after all we only regret the things we don't do right - sorry that was cheesy. If you're in your first year of university or are just finishing a-levels, forget everything UCAS tells you about preparing for university and just listen to me ok (kidding they give you free things). Incase you're wondering what the blog photo has to do with any of this, this is 19 year old Giana the day before heading to university and little did she know she was going to spend the next day dealing with the hangover from hell on a plane to Gatwick. 

1. Open a savings account. I want to kick myself in the butt for not doing this earlier, I spent my last year of a-levels and summer working part-time and yet I saved a grand total of 0 pounds for university. This meant I spent the first month living off the Special K diet, crackers and jam and ready meals so I could still afford to go out ever night during freshers fortnight. That aside, I've had a lot of free time in final year and had I put money aside, I could be jetting off all over Europe on a monthly basis.

2. Cliques are for mean girls. My friends at Bournemouth are probably the least intimidating people in Dorset, so I mean this phrase lightly. I've met so many cool people this last year and wish I would have taken the time in first and second year to expand out of my group and get to know more people. If it wasn't for my exchange trip to Florida, me and Megan probably wouldn't be living together right now, so I'm glad she finally plucked up the courage to get to know me! 

3. University is what you make of it. You can show up to lectures every day, go home, eat and go to bed - but that won't really make for great stories will it? I'm surprised at the amount of people who didn't even know BU offered an exchange programme, or that you can learn a language or volunteer in another country with the help of a grant. I wish I would have stuck to the rowing club but 6am wake up calls on a Saturday just aren't for me. You have that time to get the most out of what university has to offer, so join a social and do things that will make you grow as a person, not just on a piece of paper. 

4. Take care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. I did a whole post dedicated to this which you can read here so I won't regurgitate that again, but this should probably have been piece of advice number 1. I may not have gained the freshers 15, but I definitely was not leading a healthy lifestyle in my first year of university. Wearing a coat when its 2 degrees out isn't uncool, having a runny nose for two weeks is. Mental illnesses aren't something you can just shove aside, ask for help. 

5. You've got time. University is probably the only time you can sit in your room for three days binge watching The Vampire Diaries and not have to feel guilty about it, at least that was my case. You have the rest of your life to be stressed, don't feel bad if you spend a day reading, watching Disney movies or if you go out until 6am and sleep until 3pm - just don't make a habit of it. 

6. Uni will test relationships. Long distance relationships are almost too familiar to me, and they're definitely doable if both parties make the effort. In most cases they will only make the heart grow fonder, or a little more slutty. If you're not missing the person as much as you should be, then it's better to rip the bandage off and go on lots of dates with the variety of single boys in your university so you can actually figure out what your 'type' is. I've also got friends who have made it past university or have met at university and are now living happily ever after, I have 4 months left to accomplish the latter. 

7. Make time to visit friends. I have some hilarious memories from visiting friends in Cardiff, Bath and Portsmouth, I just wish I could have visited more of my friends and vice versa before they finished. To all my friends reading this, you have 4 months left to come experience sunny bournemouth and a night out in Cameo x 

8. Travel as much as you can. I've always loved travelling, but as point 1 illustrated I've never budgeted for it. So I've only really learnt to be smart with my money in final year, when it's a bit too late. Travelling to Europe is probably cheaper than getting a train up to Glasgow, no wait that's a fact. So if you have a good timetable that gives you long weekends, get away from rainy days!

9. Dissertation isn't as scary as it's made out to be. I'll be editing this post in the summer if it turns out I've failed, so touch wood. I'm currently working through my methodology, and to be honest writing my literature review was quite interesting, despite never having written one in my life. It's time consuming but if you're interesting in your topic then it shouldn't be a chore! I'm also going to use this space to advertise for millennials who have been to a festival either in UK or abroad as I need you for my focus groups/research! - so if you fit the criteria please get in touch!

10. It's never too late to change course if you won't be happy in the long run. Unless you're in your final year of university then you might as well stick it out, but if after your first year you feel like you fancy a complete change of career (you're only 18/19 after all) then have no shame in doing so. I was contemplating for ages changing to psychology and becoming a teacher because it was the 'easier' thing to do career wise than finding an events job in Gibraltar (eventually), but at the end of the day I enjoyed the course and have learnt transferable skills either way. That being said my heart is also kind of set on writing too, so if any magazines want to hire me holla at me. 

*11. First year doesn't count Have fun! University is meant to be the best years of your life, and I can say I can look back and say I've had a fun-filled, emotional, messy and memorable time at BU. So don't sweat the small stuff and make the most of it - go out when you should be saving money, kiss too many boys (or girls), stay up until 4am watching trashy youtube videos and spend too much time at your friends' houses that you might never see again when the time is over. 

I hope you guys have enjoyed reading this, as you might be able to tell this post falls under the 'things Giana rambles about at 1am after having a glass of wine and being inspired by life' posts. I'd love to hear your thoughts/own advice in the comments below!








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