Always bring an umbrella with you, wherever you go, and with this, I’ve said it all.
Bring only what is necessary when moving. You won’t have enough space for everything you own, especially if you are living on campus.
Carry coins in your wallet. It’s crucial for doing your laundry.
Don’t stress about making friends. You will inevitably meet people in your course, through people in your course, outside University or while waiting in a line at Starbucks.
I have met incredibly wonderful people in the most random situations. For example, I have met one of my friends when I was standing in line to get my student ID, coincidentally both being from the same country. He saw my passport and started the conversation. Another time I was ordering a caramel macchiato at Starbucks, had to spell my name and one of the girls who works there happens to also be from Romania.
E-mail your lecturers when you can’t make it to class. They will appreciate it.
Family comes first. Call them and keep in touch as much as possible.
Grocery shopping will eventually get annoying. If you live near the shop, carry your groceries in the trolley and then take it back to the shop.
I did this with Teodora, one of my friends, because we had so many bags and loads of 2l water bottles and it saved our arms.
Host a flat party. I promise you the memories are worth the effort.
We used to do this once a week or in a few weeks. I had some of the best times there, seeing everyone laughing and playing drinking games.
It’s okay if you can’t ’’English’’ some days.
It happened to me all the time early in the morning or when I was really tired after my classes.
Just give yourself time to familiarise with your new life.
It personally didn’t take me long to get used to moving to another country and speaking a second language. However, some may need a couple of months to get well-acquainted to the new lifestyle; some might only need a few days.
Keep all your passwords written down.
Whenever I tried to log in to Student Finance, I always had to call them and reset my password.
Learn how to cook from scratch.
Since I moved to the UK I’ve developed a passion for cooking. My favourite meal to cook is sweet and sour stir-fried noodles.
Thank you, Saffron, for the inspiration. It’s even more fun when you’re cooking with someone. Thank you, Lucy, for always being there to stir the noodles and check if the chicken is cooked properly.
Moisturize on a daily basis.
Nine AM lectures will try to steal you away from your relationship with your bed.
I always tried to go to my 9 AMs, but I often didn’t make it. I pray that next year I won’t have any lectures in the morning.
Organize your time and make sure you give yourself enough time to finish assignments.
What works for me best is keeping an agenda where I write down all my exam dates and when projects are due.
Prepare yourself for some sleepless nights if you live on campus.
The apartment below ours was extremely loud some nights, week-day nights. And also, I will never forget my dear flat-mate Alex’s laugh at 2 am in the morning. Also, my other flat-mate used to leave the apartment at 4 in the morning and come back after 5 minutes, of course not holding the door.
Queuing never gets any better, so bring your headphones or a friend and most importantly, your patience.
Revise for tests, exams and even mock exams, you will thank yourself later.
Skype is the greatest invention and it became my best friend.
I can’t even imagine having to write and send letters and waiting for my boyfriend, family or friends to receive them. It only sounds romantic, but it would be extremely hard.
Transport is expensive, especially if you are like me and you don’t apply for a student card.
Thank God that in the first year of University I lived on campus and Uni was only a 15-20 minute walk away. The University also provided buses to and from all campuses, which was great.
University in the UK changed my life and it was one of the best decisions that I have made.
I have met wonderful people and took part in marvellous projects through which I’ve learned a lot, and a lot about myself.
Visit as often as you can, even if you go for a walk in the neighbourhood.
Wash the damn dishes.
Even if they are someone else’s in the sink, just do yourself a favour and wash them. Trust me, you don’t want a clogged sink. Yes, it happened to us and it was a mess.
X-mas breaks with your family and friends will fly by you with the speed of light.
You will need wine nights with the girls.
Zone 1, Central London, is magical and will always be.