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BSc (Hons) Forensic Computing & Security

Hey guys! So I’m back again with some life skills I gained whilst being at University. Living without parents was a very daunting experience for me in my first year, as I’d never moved out from home ever before.

I’d definitely say there have been rapid changes I encountered and developed, which I don’t think I would have gained living with my parents.

The very first life skill that became increasingly apparent are my skills in the kitchen. You’ll soon find that eating out all the time isn’t healthy nor is it affordable over time. Luckily for me I could cook even before I left for uni, so that wasn’t much of a challenge but for my housemates it was because they were accustomed to dinner being ready and served every night. What I did learn however, was a range of different dishes from different cultures which I may not have explored whilst living at home. So I guess you could say I branched out and guess what? YouTube isn’t only for music videos or watching make up tutorials, you can also learn how to cook from watching a few videos. I also learnt how to cook quantities big enough for a few days, this would obviously save time as I didn’t have to make dinner every night.

The next life skill is developing the ability to plan ahead and be organised. This term has probably been used so many times that you’re immune to the meaning. But let me demonstrate why it is so crucial. So lets say I had lectures from 9am-1pm, I started work from 4pm-10pm and I wanted to go out at 11:30pm I would choose my outfits the night before and probably cook the night before, so I had lunch. By doing this I wouldn’t have to rush or start fussing because I would have made selections for clothes and all I would need to do is get ready. Although, this might sound really basic or in fact common sense, it would surprise you how unorganized some people are and the negative effects it has. One of the repercussions is running late, this causes an unnecessary headache especially if you’re going to work, because you will begin to develop a bad reputation of being late and could be labelled as unreliable. These are life lessons your parents may have told you before, but you ignore them. Start listening, they have been there, they know what they’re talking about.

You can also use this method of thinking and adopt it to assignments and exam preparation. I was once told ‘if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail’. It is fundamental that you do not leave assignments to a week before submission, day before or even night before. I know it is tempting because you have time on your hands and of course 4 weeks sounds like a very long time. But if you spend the first week reading articles and books around the subject, second week 2 select references to use and perhaps a draft, third week to make improvements and forth week to give your work a once over, check spelling mistakes etc. The examiner will certainly see a difference and you feel more rewarded when you get a good mark knowing that you worked hard.

Another good skill is knowing how to spend money wisely. When my student loan dropped, I would pay my first 3 months rent and use the rest for food and fuel, I had a part time job as well. Rather than purchasing food at the uni canteen I would bring my own lunch in and snacks, so I wouldn’t have an excuse to go home early. Taking lunch to uni, helped me save a lot of money and I still do it now on placement. This one is a difficult one for people to follow, but it’s all about being disciplined!

The final one which I think is the major key is independence. You might begin to realize that your communications with people begin to change because you develop this sense of individuality, confidence and maturity because there is no mum or dad to voice your opinions for you or fight your battles and you deal with consequences of your actions, which you might have shied away from when you lived at home. What I have learnt even whilst being on placement, if I’m not sure about something or simply don’t know something: research. My first point of research is to Google it, believe me Google is a man/woman’s best friend- every and any answer you need is on there. I was once told the greatest intelligence on Earth is Google’s algorithm- so make use of it! I’m sure you have that annoying classmate that seeks the answers from another classmate because they just haven’t bothered to read or learn something. Nobody likes a lazy bug looking for short cuts, especially in the work field.

I hope that provided some sort of insight on life skills you will gain whilst at university and it’s so interesting how they can help even in day to day life.

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