University/College Survival Guide 2015!

Hey guys!

So I have had SOOOO many request to do a “University/College advice” post. Most of you will know I’m just about to go into 2nd year of University, (if you want me to do a post all about my first year or whatever let me know on twitter @SweetlyShan) I’ve done the whole college newbie thing! So, I know A-Level & GCSE resuls days are coming up (I hope you all do well & get what you wanted!) So here’s my survival guide PLUS everythig you’ll need, from stationary to cheap laptop deals and discounts, I hope it helps you!


1. Stationary; pens, pencils, erasers, shapeners, ruler, scissors, coloured pens/pencils, highlighters, paperclips, tipex, post-it notes, files/folders, hole punch

2. Technology; laptop, iPad (optional), printer, USB memory stick

3. Books; notebooks, any text books you will need (they will be listed on your course online, or your lecturer will tell you in the 1st lesson.), a diary/planner – these come in so handy when you have deadlines!


1. Files, Stationary & Books. The obvious really.

2. Headphones. This is such a must, I can’t stress enough! At some point, you will be stuck somewhere bored brainless and you will be thanking me!

3. Water & A Snack. A bottle of water is so important, especially for university because theres nothing more embarrassing than being stuck in a packed lecture hall and having a tickly cough!! A snack is good too, either a biscuit or a piece of fruit to keep you awake and focused!

4. Mini First Aid Kit. Plasters, paracetamol, lip balm & hand lotion (lecture halls have awful air con/heating!) hair ties & uhh, lady products (for female readers, sorry lads), tissues, throat sweets, hand sanitiser.

5. A Jacket. I would seriously advise layers, one class can be boiling hot whereas the next can be freezing! I always cary a thin little jacket around in summer.


So I know this is the part of the post most of you guys are waiting for. My favourite places to buy stationary are supermarkets such as ASDA‘s and TESCO, they have some really great – cheap– stuff! But also WHSmiths, who often have good deals on if you’re on a budget! And for those of you reading this who are preparing for uni, I’m going to tell you from the start, you won’t be able to afford all the fancy-shmancy expensive stationary, bags or whatever, after your first year. Being a student is living on a budget, a tight one! (read below for more Uni advice).

For laptops/tablets etc. If you’re an Apple person (university only) you get 15% off your purchase with education discount! It doesn’t sound much but it takes around £200 off a MacBook Pro! Also have a look at PC World/Currys as they always have deals on!


For college, really, you don’t need much more than you do for school, except your own paper, books and other course essentials. But the differences between school and college are unbelievable.

  • You’re treated like an adult, regardless of whether you’re 16 or 60 going into college, you’re all treated the same – which is good. 
  • It is hard work, don’t be tricked into thinking your free periods make college a breeze, the work will hit you pretty fast so be prepared. My A-Level English lecturer told me on my first day “The jump between GCSE and AS-Level is huge, but after that it’s a breeze.” And having done A-Levels and my 1st year of Uni, I can say he was right, thanks for the advice Jon.
  • Please, PLEASE, keep your notes organised. You don’t want to make the same mistake I made of not keeping track of all my class notes, and then a few weeks before the exam panic because you’ve lost half the syllabus… Stay organised!
  • If I had to give you one tip, it would be enjoy yourself! I had a ball for my 2 years of college, and would do anything to do them over again! Blink and you will miss them, so enjoy it!


I do feel rather strange writing a “how to survive uni” section, when I’ve only just completed my first year. BUT; I did survive, did I not?

  •  If you’re going into University in September, first off congratulations, getting into Uni is a HUGE thing! 
  • Secondly, bare in mind from the start, although your first year doesn’t count towards your final degree, (in most courses) don’t make the assumption you don’t have to work, YOU DO. In my experience it isn’t that much harder than college, but still, don’t get pulled into the way of thinking that its parties and getting off your face drunk every night. 
  • Take advantage of the resources there for you! University books are SO expensive, but something I learnt in my second semester, is that the library has every book you’re ever going to need, but they’re limited! So get there first, be a bit of a nerd and go into the library on your first day and scout out some of your books, it will save you so much money!
  • Freshers. Ahh Freshers, it’s mad, wild and you will see some sights! But its not just about getting drunk (believe it or not) join some societies, there are so hundreds! From your course society to the Hogwarts society, there is everything, it’s also a great way to make friends, and if I could do my fresher year over again, I’d join soo many more!
  • Lectures; if you do have an iPad I really recommend using it because its lighter than a laptop and much more portable. The lecturers talk at the speed of light, so if you’re a slow writer I’d recommend typing out notes! It also makes life a lot easier when you can download your lecture slides to view when you’re studying, for example in the library where you don’t have your laptop! I know you’re sitting there now going “pfft, I won’t be in the library” trust me, once you get your assignments you will.

I really hope this post has helped some of you, I could have written so much more, so if you would like that, leave a comment below, or tweet me @SweetlyShan! I would love to do more posts like this in the future!

Oh, and P.s….Good Luck!

-Shan x

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