Produced by Sarah Holding
BSc (Hons) Nutrition
Every person who leaves home for the first time will tell you that living without parents is a dream come true, no one to tell you to clean your room, make you do the dishes or even moan at you for no apparent reason. But after a while of being independent you start to notice the pile of washing getting bigger and bigger, stacks of plates and cutlery demanding to be washed, and you start to take for granted all the little things that were once done for you. You start to miss home and the luxuries you can no longer afford because you’re basically broke. No more home cooked roast dinners with 100% real meat, you’ll be living off the frozen aisle and smart price range. My personal favourites are 75p frozen chips and Asda Smart Price 72p nuggets, not exactly a ‘high market wine’ or ‘Smirnoff vodka’. When that first money from student finance comes in you’ll take it for granted and live like royalty until a week down the line and you realise all you bought was crisps and snacks.
Now, you have to wash your own clothes…the golden rule being, to remember ALWAYS SEPARATE WHITES AND REDS! Unless of course you want pink clothes and waste valuable money on new ones. If you’re on a strict budget and can’t afford to do loads of washes, then invest in my good pal ‘Colour Catcher’. This nifty invention is a students’ dream, I can’t be bothered to sort through my clothes and separate them into whites, darks, colours etc. It drags! So mix them all together and chuck in a colour catcher and Bob’s your uncle! TaaDaa!
>> Student Life Hack – don’t tumble dry your clothes, hang them around your room, I found my curtain rail, mirror and shower to be great non-electric dryers! It takes longer but on the bright side it makes your room smell nice and you’ll be saving money! It’s like a free febreeze.
Student life can be amazing! My first year at BU was one of the best years of my life. I never thought I would be an 18-year-old on my hands and knees scrubbing the toilet with bleach after a messy night out, that’s what mums were for! But unfortunately its life and with great power comes great responsibility. The best way to deal with mess is keeping on top of things. Clean as you go, I know no one likes the boring job of washing their plates right after they’ve eaten, or mopping up the vodka and coke you just spilled but it leaves you more time to do more important things like party study.
>> Student Life Hack – don’t let the grease build up in the pan or the fight to get rid of it takes a very long time.
My most hated word since being at uni is BUDGET. You will hear this word said to you a thousand times in just the first term but I will admit it is crucial. I hate to admit it but spending money on alcohol and nights out should not be your main focus with money, (it comes just a tiny bit below the other important things like food). You live alone now; you handle your own finances. You need to think about what’s most important. What do you need to spend money on? Food is a must, no doubt about it. Hopefully you have accommodation that has bills included in the rent so you won’t have to worry about them, but if you don’t then they make top of the list. Just remember to only buy what you can afford, you know what they say – Primark money, Prada taste.
Facetime or Snapchat is a must for living alone. You may get homesick and it feels so much better to see your friends and it’s so much more comforting than just a voice on the end of a phone. Keep in contact regularly, just because you don’t live with certain people anymore doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And even if you don’t miss them, give them a call because they’ll probably be missing you.
Try not to worry when your flat looks like this, it happens to everyone and the next day you all get to moan about how your head hurts whilst putting it straight again!
At the end of the day, when you leave home it’s down to you how you choose to do things, you can hear all the advice from everyone who has been in your shoes before and read all the tips and life hacks you can find, but it’s your choice.
Just have fun and make the most of it, because you only get to do this once! You will meet some amazing people like I have!
By Sarah Holding