1. Meeting New People
This challenge was a difficult one for me at the beginning of University and I am sure it is the same for everyone beginning this new chapter in their lives. Especially moving to a new city that is completely different as it can be initially overwhelming to socialise and meet new people.
The way in which I found was best to meet new people during the first week of University was to be confident! I was out of my comfort zone to begin with, however just being more willing to try new things involving meeting new people, was a great way to get socialising. During these times even joining Zoom calls and online society sessions will allow for that somewhat normal feeling of meeting new people!
2. Learning to budget
I learnt this the hard way when starting university and throughout my first year. I wanted to try new restaurants and bars that I had never seen before, however it came with a cost! I would regularly go on nights out and buy new clothes, meaning my bank account was not particularly happy and neither was I when it came to the balance left over.
I decided that I needed to change this drastically and become more sensible with how I spent my money. This is where I learnt to budget. I had a part time job, therefore I had a source of income to balance what I was spending. I planned a budget for the week, such as a food shop and also for the month for costs such as, phone payments. For budgeting advice, make sure to speak to LJMU’s Money Advice team.
3. Writing assignments
Writing assignments and essays is a challenge that all students will need to overcome during University. Compared to some, I found writing assignments not extremely challenging as I wrote a lot during my A-Levels. Nevertheless, it was a skill I needed to develop if I wanted to get the grades.
Firstly, I started attending LJMU Study Skills Sessions that the university held regularly. As well as this, I overcame writing assignments through making mistakes! I wrote assignments which I thought were good enough, however I sometimes I received marks back that were the complete opposite. This was a learning curve where mistakes were made, but there was support and guidance there to help me improve. Study Skills even have sessions to help you understand and use feedback, so make sure to watch their videos.
4. Eating healthily
Eating healthily was a challenge that was ongoing for me and has been through my university experience so far. When it came to cooking my own meals at university, I always went for the easy option, from cooking pizza and pasta constantly. Although this was not necessarily a bad thing, I noticed that I was beginning to lose motivation and I was feeling tired all the time.
I decided to change this and overcome these habits through introducing more fruit and vegetables into my diet and also exercising. I incorporated healthier food options into my meals that I would not necessarily notice and now I feel so much better.
5. Balancing work and university life
For all students, I believe the challenge of balancing work and play to be the most difficult, as it certainly was for me. During the first year of university, the majority of the time I wanted to socialise and go on nights out. I still completed my university assignments on time, although they were not my top priority.
I learnt and overcame this through having a structured timetable. This included my lectures and time that I needed to spend on assignments, as well as my part-time job and other activities such as LJMU Poker society and socialising with friends. As a student I was always on my phone, so having a calendar on there too ensured that I knew exactly what I was doing each day so I did not miss anything important!
If you’re dealing with some tough challenges whilst at university and need extra support, speak to the LJMU Wellbeing team, they’re here to help.
Written by Elizabeth Ewing (Third Year Placement Student in Events Management)