Surviving University in London

So as many of you guys might now, wait, you should know, that I went to University in the big old smoke of London.

Now consider this, a freshly turned nineteen year old, moving away from a tiny Island that doesn't even have a train service with more than 9 stops, to London. It felt at the time like there were more people on a Tube train than there were on the whole Island. To put it politely, I was terrified.

I know that there's probably a new bunch of Freshers that are sat in their overpriced rooms all across London now thinking... what have I done? So I thought this would be the perfect time to give y'all some nice tips about how to cope with University in the capital city.

1. Get a Student Oyster - ASAP. 
Likelihood is that not only you'll be travelling to and from Uni, but also round Freshers Fairs, seeing pals and of course a couple of boozy nights out. Student Oyster will give you 30% off any travelcards (which I will get onto next) and you WILL miss this when it's gone. You should also get a 16-25 railcard, especially if you're travelling a long way to get to and from home home, because it'll get you 1/3 off any off peak travel around London. 
Now, you should also learn about Oysters. And no not the really yummy seafood (unpopular opinion). Oysters are like little contactless debit cards I guess. Top them up with money like you would do a card. You can use this on single journeys, on bus,train,tube and overground. If you travel a lot it might be cheaper and easier to get yourself a travelcard. This is what I do now as it's SO much easier. Dependant on what zones you need to travel in, is how much it will cost. I pay just shy of £180 a month for zones 1-4. Sounds a lot (it is) but it actually works out so much cheaper and easier - I can get the bus home without worrying about cost and if something happened at least I'm okay for travel. Have a research into what would work best for you. REGISTER that Oyster. You know, in case you lose it. Hopefully you're not as scatty as me.

2. Get a job
Hear me out. Maybe not in your first month of partying, getting all excited about the student loan coming in because you should of course enjoy those as much as possible. I'd love to be in that great fresh time of the year. But at some point or another you'll be crying about the small fortune being taken out of your account to live in, what can only be described as, a cupboard. I found the perfect solution to finding a job, which was basically freelance waitressing. There are so many different companies which hire people like us to wait on a zero hour contract (number one, not waiting around and number two, I know these are made to seem like a bad thing but they actually saved my bacon at Uni) where you say when you're free and they offer work accordingly. They pay isn't the best but it's better than nothing, right? And it's fairly simple work tbh.

3. Go and explore
London is HUGE. You will never see all of it, but whilst you're here and only at Uni three times a week you should go out and make the most of it. This is something I'm guilty of not doing, and right now, I'm kicking myself for it. It's not just about the big city places too, there's plenty of beautiful parks, and side streets and cafes you can go explore. What I used to do was take my travelcard and my camera and just go out. Get on the Tube and see where it takes me. Whilst you've got time make the most of it and see the city, no need to go home in 3 months and say you've only seen clubs.

4. Make the most of it
Could totally be merged into the above point, but this one is more than that. London truly is a city that never sleeps, there's always something going on. When I was at University I went on boat parties, saw so many TV shows in the audience, outdoor cinemas and went and did all the touristy things I could think of. This hasn't stopped now, as you'll see in a up and coming post (tease) but who knows when your London life will be over. It's great to do all these things whilst you don't have a constant job, going to see TV shows is a lot harder now I seem to live at work. SIGH. 

5. Shop at big supermarkets
Now, this kind of sounds misleading but for example I never knew that things in Tesco Expresses are more expensive than in big Tescos. So try and do your big shop in one go in a big shop. I often do one big shop every other month with loads of meat etc and get it delivered for only £2. Barry Bargain. As I'm sure is the case wherever you go to Uni/work try and prep meals as well. When I'm on late shifts I try and make one big batch of pasta and that's me set for the week dinner-wise! If the dinners are all ready and made it makes it a lot harder to go 'MEH I'll go to the chippy'

I hope this will be of some sort of use to all you doe eyed freshers who feel like you've thrown yourself in to the deep end going to Uni in London. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done but I think now it allowed me to slowly make the transition in to the fab city dweller I am these days.


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  2. I would be terrified to move to London (especially if I had done for uni) but these are brilliant tips for anything thinking about it! xx

    Grab Your Camera x