Learn to cook.
Israel Engagement Officer Emanuele says: “I wish I’d known how to cook”. Louise, one of our Jewish Society (J-Soc) Officers, suggests you learn simple dishes that can be tweaked.
A stir-fry, for example, can be cooked with rice or noodles, different vegetables, and the protein can vary – but it all uses the same easy method.
Finance Director Lindsay recommends easy, cheap and filling shakshuka, while James, another J-Soc officer, advises that if you’re on a tight budget, do food shopping towards the end of the day when many items are discounted.
Take your time!
Students often decide who they want to live with in their second year really early on in the first year, but friendships have changed by the time the second year comes around.
It’s important to think carefully about who you want to live with before you sign that contract, and on that note, don’t worry if you don’t find your tribe on day one – it can take time to settle into new friendship groups.
Do your washing
Josh Seitler, UJS President, sums it up: “University was the first time that I had to cook and clean for myself but that wasn’t the hardest part.
The laundry loomed over me, I just couldn’t be bothered and it got to the stage where I literally had no clean clothes left.
My advice is to set a time to do your washing, before you get buried under a smelly pile of it.” James agreed that an overall routine is important to avoid finding yourself without clean clothes or fresh food.
Make the most of what’s on offer
Our finance assistant Christian wishes he had known about all the sessions his university offered on employability, from CV advice and mock interviews to visiting speakers from major companies.
Similarly, Emanuele and executive director David both could have appreciated the clubs, societies and sports teams more. David says that he “signed up to rock climbing, but never went,” and regrets not doing more of the “structured fun.”
Joining your J-Soc is a great way to get involved, from meeting new friends at Friday night dinners and celebrating festivals to hearing inspiring speakers and benefitting from career networking opportunities, but don’t forget to explore other activities as well.
Many students anticipate the freedom of living away from home, but don’t realise how much unstructured time they’ll have.
It’s easy to watch Netflix all morning and go out all night, but J-Soc officer Leanne highlights the importance of balancing your social life with your university work.
You may have heard about only needing 40 per cent to pass the year, but the habits you form in first year will be yours for the rest of your course too – so get into good patterns now.
Look after yourself – physically and mentally.
David says: “I wish I’d understood that although my student-age body didn’t show or feel the effects of eating badly, it was going to come back and bite me later in life.”
Try to eat a balanced diet and get some exercise – again, getting involved with a sports team is a fun way to do this. It’s also important to take care of yourself mentally: the changes can be hectic and there is an expectation that university will be “the best time of your life” – so when it’s not, this can be difficult.
It’s important to know what support is available, so if you aren’t sure where to look, get in touch – we can point you in the right direction.
UJS provides support to Jewish students throughout the UK. For more information, call 020 7424 3288 or send an email to email@example.com