This week at Your Village Shop said goodbye to our team members who are off to University. We are wishing them luck. Our intern Wes, who is a recent UWE graduate, has some tips for them and all freshers starting off on their uni journey. 

1. Spend Wisely

While it might be tempting, don’t spend your entire loan in the first few weeks. The extra money in your account might look a treat, but it’s in your best interest to budget to address your needs. The last thing you want is to reach the middle of the month, really need money, and realize how much you wasted on impulse buys when your loan first came in.

When you’re living on a student budget, you’ll need all the help you can get to make the pound in your pocket stretch as far as it can.  With the cost of living going up, and food prices in particular rocketing, finding ways of cutting the amount you spend on your groceries could leave you with more spare change for going out and doing the things you really enjoy. Having been a student fairly recently, I can confidently state that the Student Union, while convenient, isn’t always easy on the wallet.

That’s where we come in.

Whether you’re looking to buy a quick sandwich, snack and drink between lectures, or just looking to do your usual grocery shop, Your Village Shop can help. Even with things as simple as getting your hands on the essentials; from fruit and veg through to loo roll, soap and loads more. 

2. Be the best flatmate you can be

It’s one of the hardest things you can do as a student. You’re tired, you’ve had back to back lectures all day, you have a 2000 word essay due at the end of the week that you’ve barely started, and you really couldn’t care less about the dishes right now. But it’s important to keep a clean living space: both for your own peace of mind; having less clutter is proven to reduce stress, particularly if you suffer from OCD, but it makes life a lot easier for people you live with as well.

Make it your goal to set an example and be on your best behaviour. Yes, that might mean you need to tidy up—but as long as you’re consistently cleaning a little every day, your flat will stay sparkling. If you feel up for a bit of bonding, try making a cup of tea or coffee at home in the morning instead of heading to a cafe. Not only is this COVID-safe, but everybody loves a warm beverage and biscuit. Plus, it gives you time to get to know your fellow students, which leads confidently into our next tip.

3. Socialise

Strike out! There are plenty of social opportunities to be had at UWE, from societies and volunteering and other activities. However, we understand that this may be difficult, particularly for autistic students, and those who might suffer from social anxiety. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything around you, but being able to make friends and connections in a new environment will make it just that little bit easier to manage.

University, especially at Freshers’ Week is a time when everyone is experiencing a series of “firsts.” It might be your first day at uni, while it could be another student’s first time in another city. It’s very understandable to feel like you don’t want to make the first move talking to a new person, just as they might feel the same way about approaching you!

Just remember, everyone’s in the same boat!

All the same, if you’d like a less daunting practice run with less pressure, we have plenty of friendly staff on hand at Your Village Shop who would be more than willing to talk to you during your next shopping trip!

4. Take It Easy

Studying is important, but remember that you’re not Superman! I know it might feel like you are , especially in those first few weeks of coursework, but trust me: you’ll need the breaks when your professors start stepping things up. This is one of the most important tips I can give for freshers for avoiding burnout stress. Set up a space in your apartment or room that’s specifically for relaxing, and use it when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

We have a host of items that can help you destress, from glowing bouncy balls and other stress toys that might go a long way to relieving some of your anxiety. 

5. Be yourself

Don’t worry about trying to reinvent your personality when you get to uni. If you put your authentic self out there, the right people will naturally gravitate toward you. Be yourself and speak your mind. 

Remember that this is a once in a lifetime experience, so enjoy it and have fun.

Your Village shop is just a short walk from UWE’s Frenchay campus. Situated in Stoke Gifford Retirement Village next to Bristol Business Park. An independent community shop that is accessible to all.