University Survival Guide

I know what you’re thinking, “it’s only been a month and you’re already writing a survival guide?” Yes. It’s only been a month, and yes, believe me, just like your mom telling you you’ll appreciate it one day that she made you learn to play the piano, you’re going to appreciate my advice when it’s your first month at university. Many things I learned the hard way. For example, you need to go grocery shopping if you want lunch the next day. But then again, I learned that it is in fact possible to survive on baked beans for a week (don’t do it though, be considerate to your fellow bathroom-mates). I shall grace you with 5 very helpful tips.

If you want your room to be clean, you have to clean your room.

I know it’s easy to sit in denial, looking at the crumbs on your floor and convincing yourself that they will disappear someday, somehow. Well, I have some news for you. Those crumbs and that piece of broccoli that fell that one time aren’t going anywhere unless you break out the vacuum and suck it up. I’m speaking from experience. That one piece of broccoli started growing broccoli (don’t worry, I’m kidding). Rest assured, those 5 minutes of mild labour are worth it when your OCD senses are satisfied and you feel pride when you look into your room at your clean and pristine carpet and say, “oh yeah, I’m such a responsible student.”

Buy an air freshener.

Your room will start smelling funky from all your post-puberty juices. Just because you’re not 16 anymore doesn’t mean you don’t have sweat glands. You’re going to have friends over. Don’t want them smelling any of that.

If you have midnight cravings, don’t buy a value pack of chocolate chip cookies.

You will eat them all. You will regret it in the morning.

Do not, and I mean do not, procrastinate. 

Don’t you roll your eyes at me, I know all those adults have been drilling this into you your entire life, yet you survived with starting your homework the night before it’s due. Kudos to you for that. But sweetie, you’re in the real world now. You finish half of one thing, little do you know you’ve got a chemistry assignment coming up. You go out to a movie one night, but oh! That project that’s due in three weeks? Well. It takes a lot longer to do than you thought, chica. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Yes, movies are great. Movies are fun. Sitting in your room hyperventilating because you have a 6 page report due next week and you still have to research and study for a math test and a physics assignment and a chemistry quiz at the same time, that is not fun.

Eat your vegetables.

Your skin will thank you for it. Your mom will thank you for it. Your regular bowel movements will thank you for it. It’s a win-win-win situation. Except maybe for your tastebuds.

Bonus tip: do your laundry. You will run out of underwear.

Alright, so what have we learned today? Living independently is a very educational experience. The basic things in life, like buying food, doing the washing and transportation suddenly become your responsibility. I know, it’s pretty unreal. You don’t realise until you’re in this situation that these things actually take time and effort. It’s easy to just walk to school with a pre-packed lunch and a free ride from the parents. I guess what I’m trying to say is, cherish this time. Being independent is huge fun, but when you have tests and assignments to worry about, you’re going to miss mom’s homemade spaghetti leftovers for lunch. But then again, I guess there’s nobody around to stop you from eating ice cream for breakfast.

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About Tania

Well, hello there. Let me introduce myself. My name is Tania Thamrin, I would ask you yours but I’ve been told this is a blurb about me, so, sorry. I am a first year student at Massey University studying the Bachelor of Food Technology and have moved out of home to reside in the Halls of Residence on the Albany campus (Weka, woo!). I have a dog called Bruno, the cutest thing ever, a BichonxShihtzu and I miss him dearly. Oh, and a mom and a dad and a brother, I miss them too. I’m from Indonesia (but why do you look Chinese?) but my great-great grandparents were from China. My go-to stress food is Reese’s Peanut Butter cups – semester started yesterday and I’ve already had two. I’ve reached my word limit, so if you see me around, say hi! I promise not to run away.

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