October 31, 2017

Lorna in Barry

Every person who plans to go to university has an idea in their head of what it will be like. Uni is a great experience, but often in the first few months it can take a bit of adjustment as it can be a bit different to what we imagine. I wouldn’t say different in a bad way, it’s just something that some of us have to work around – maybe things are a little more stressful, or money is tighter than expected.

Personally I had a few months where I really wasn’t loving my life at university and I had to overcome that. Now I love living in Cardiff and studying at Cardiff Met, so I’m here with a few of my tips to help get you through any rough patches you might experience:

1. Stay in touch (within reason)

Keep in touch with your friends and family back home and visit every so often if you can, but try not to go home too much because you won’t give yourself chance to learn to love your new ‘life’.

2. Stay sociable

Don’t lock yourself away in your room. However tempting it might be to shut yourself in your room in the evenings and binge watch Netflix you’ll soon start to feel lonely. Making a bit of extra effort and inviting a course mate over or chatting to one of your flat mates really does make you feel like you’re not alone. I’m not suggesting that the odd night of Netlfix binging will do any harm but it’s nice to mix it up a bit and get out of the four walls that make up your bedroom.

3. Explore


You don’t have to travel far to see the beauty that is Cardiff Castle.

If you’re not local to Cardiff the likelihood is that you’ve not seen very much of the beautiful city. It’s your new home so go out and explore – start making it feel like it is your home rather than a foreign place and you’ll learn to love it just like I did.

You don’t have to stop there either – exploring areas outside of Cardiff is really great fun too. So if you’ve got a free weekend and you know a friend with a car then go for a day trip somewhere like Brecon Beacons or Barry Island (though it turns out the beach is more like mud than sand when the tide is out so I’d recommend grabbing and ice cream rather than attempting to sunbathe!). Getting some air outside the city can do you the world of good if you’re not normally a city person.

4. Join a club or take on a challenge

half marathon

Spot the crazy one waving her arms around while trying to run! Here I am running Cardiff Half Marathon (my first ever half!) in aid of Parkinsons’.

If you’re worried about making new friends then the best place to make them is in a club or society. You’ll find people with common interests to you and you’ll have a reason to drag yourself out of the house or flat at least once a week. I also found that taking on the challenge of a half marathon gave me a great push.

5. Be careful with your cash

If you’re worried about money then start budgeting – I’ve written about this before. Trying not to spend too much on a night out or turning down the odd night out here and there would probably save a lot of students an awful lot of money and take away a bit of stress.

If you’re going through a rough patch then a big thing to remember is that you’re not alone and it doesn’t last forever. Being proactive and talking to other people (whether that be flat mates, course mates, or student services on campus) really can help make your time at university amazing, and you’ll be loving the experience in next to no time.

Check out more blogs on Student Life at Cardiff Met