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Top 10 things to avoid at university

Top 10 things to avoid at university

University is a time when we all discover our interests, get to pursue a subject we have chosen, and meet like-minded people. However, during this experience, there are some things worth avoiding.

I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to avoid at university, see how many of them you can implement!


Leaving your essay to the last minute. This is important if you want to secure those good grades. Every once in a while you might realise you have less time than you thought, but if it can be avoided, make a plan and stick to it!


Partying the night before handing in your essay. Not a good idea. You might be tempted by an invitation thinking ‘I can reference hung-over’. Really, when it comes down to it, the reality is staying up ‘til 3am the day of hand-in with a pulsating headache feeling like you want to just crawl into bed and forget it all…


Spending your student loan on random items for your room – only to leave yourself with nothing for the rest of the term. I did this in my second year at Newcastle Uni, bought a brand new hi-fi, leather sofa, lighting and so on. And then realised I’d be living on lentils for a while after.


Working full time while studying. If you really have to in order to survive, then you can’t avoid this one. However, if you get offered a job and think you can manage a 9-5 job while studying, I think this is a pretty difficult balance. I do my course part time at the moment and still it’s hard to manage work and studies. Try working a few days instead and you’ll feel a lot freer, and your grades will increase too.


Being known as the ‘rich student’ who buys everyone drinks. Your bank balance will soon go down if you are always the one buying rounds. Make sure to keep it fair and swap who buys drinks.


Paying your rent late. Try to avoid this one if possible, an angry landlord at your door is the last thing you want while trying to get on with your uni work. Tell parents about your financial situation so that they might be able to help. Most universities have hardship funds as well which you can apply to, and you don’t have to pay these back.


Doing so many activities you have no time for uni work. It might seem appealing on your Fresher’s week to sign up for everything, however when it comes down to it, you’ll probably only have time for two or three activities to commit to fully alongside uni work.


Never cleaning your house. Especially if you live with flatmates it might be worth making a rota. Make sure you aren’t the one everyone’s grumbling about because you don’t lift a finger in the kitchen.


Starting to smoke because it’s ‘cool and studenty’. It is tempting to buy into the whole Kerouac reading, smoking out of windows romanticised vision of being a student. But before you start smoking, think of the toll it might take on your health, and make your own choice.


Sleeping in the library in a pile of books only to realise you haven’t done any work. You may have the motivation to get to the library, but if you are too tired to focus and are trying to do an all-nighter, maybe allocate a specific time limit in line with the amount of work you can realistically achieve in one evening.


There are many things to gain from enjoying university, so while there are lots of things to avoid, concentrate on filling your life with the activities and people you enjoy and you won’t have to think about the above too much. Good luck!

Holly Smith Editor