I considered myself a student long before I started a degree at Coventry University. Three years prior at College, I commuted there and back on my own, I handled my own social life, I worked for my money and although I lived at home with my mum and older sister, they were hardly home. So I had to fend for myself a lot.
In a way I am glad I had Mum and my sister working a lot. It gave me the practice that not a lot of people know when they get to fully independently live away.
On my first night testing out a new level of independence in Coventry, I fell and busted my knee open. I was in a new city and I hadn’t the faintest idea of where the nearest Boots or Pharmacy was to get it bandaged. Days after I walked around with my jeans literally sticking to the scab on my knee, on top of being completely devastated and physically ill from homesickness, my knee made being alone all the more terrifying.
Things you may want to know…and some things I wish I knew.
- Where the nearest Chemist/Pharmacy is.
- The number and location of Coventry University Medical Centre (024 7655 1725, The Hub, Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QP.) You get one of their cards when you sign up to a doctors in the Student Centre the day you can get your ID Pass too. I found this so helpful during my first week as I spoke to the Welfare Officer who convinced me to stay when I was so close to leaving due to Homesickness.
- http://www.studentmoneysaver.co.uk and http://www.studentbeans.com are your new best friends before and during University. Hello, Freebies. I got a free £10 Rail ticket, highlighters, pens and a lot more. Plus they have tips and interesting stories on Student Life.
- Just because you cried yourself to sleep every night for as long as you can remember, doesn’t mean the tears won’t stop. Like my mum told me “One day you will cry less and less.” It is really just about adapting to your new surroundings. (Coming from someone who woke up in shakes of tears the first month.)
- Condiments. Yes, Ketchup, Salad Cream, Salt, Pepper, Mayonaise is all free. Have you heard of Wetherspoons and just general cafes. Yes, stock up on those and store them in your cupboard in a bag. If you aren’t so comfortable on “stealing them” whilst you use their toilets, then buy some food and just over estimate the amount of red sauce or vinegar you need.
- Don’t judge people by their first impressions. Get to know them.
- I have so much respect for International Students. I’m from Northern Ireland (an hour flight away) but I recently talked to my Polish friend who has to get a 23hr bus as the flights were too expensive.
- easyJet or Ryanair aren’t going to give you discounts no matter how many times you Tweet and tell them you’re a poor student. Same goes for any other airline.
- Go to Freshers and just grab all of the free stuff. One thing I missed out on was the Freshers stalls inside the Students Union (near the Cathedral) so Go!
- Parents will contact you daily and ask how your day was.