Hi, my name is Rebecca and I'm in the final year of BA Business with Law degree. I'm originally from Germany and it was quite a change to move out from home and go to university in a different country.
I know lots of prospective students are worried about what their life at university will be like; so let me reassure you, it's going to be fine. Actually, I'd even go as far as to say it's great! Have a look at what my typical day looks like and you'll see it's not just sitting in the library.
I live in right in the centre of Kingston, close to university, which is very practical, yet it currently comes with a free alarm clock at 7am weekdays. However, when the construction work is finished, Kingston will have a beautiful, renovated market square (It's now finished and looks great!).
The square is home to Kingston Farmers' market, which is a great place for students to try different international food, like Zebra burger or Moroccan tagine. The market also offers fresh fruit and vegetables at great prices!
Usually, I go to the gym 4 times a week - going in the mornings wakes me up and gives me energy for busy days! Kingston University has its own gym that offers a wide range of weights and cardio machines. There are a few other gyms in town, but the university gym is a good place to meet other students and the rates are very competitive.
I don't have many lectures anymore as I'm in the last semester of third year, so a lot of my time is spent in the LRC (learning resource centre) working on my dissertation. What I love about the library (a sentence I never thought I'd write) is that it is open 24/7 during term-times. Every campus has its own library with an abundance of useful books, journals, papers and even DVDs.
Lunch is often a time I meet with friends or my boyfriend to enjoy one of the many restaurants Kingston offers. There is a great variety of cuisines, from German to Japanese, so you'll never get bored. Byron Burger, Jamie's and Las Iguanas are my top picks!
To make up for spending money when eating out I shop for bargains at Sainsbury's and cook many of my meals at home. Kingston has lots of places to shop, depending on your preferences and budget. There's everything from whole food stores to an Asian supermarket.
Kingston has excellent transportation links but sometimes I prefer to walk to get some fresh air and stay active. When I'm feeling lazy, I use the free university bus service, which connects all of our campuses. Central London is only a train-ride away and easily reachable from Kingston, Norbiton and Surbiton stations.
Working for KUSA (Kingston Uni Student Ambassadors) is something I do as often as possible. I've made so many good friends and experiences on the scheme! This is my fellow ambassador Catarina and I working at the latest PG open evening. We have a range of open days for UG and PG students, so be sure to check them out.
My favourite food to cook is Indian and I love making dinner for my flat mates and friends. Lots of students fall into the trap of spending a lot on take-out and pizza deliveries because they seem cheap. Get your parents to teach you a few simple recipes or check for ideas online - cooking at home is a healthy, economical alternative.
In the evening I usually fit in a couple of hours to work at home, when I don't feel like going back to the library. University is different from school in the sense that you do a lot more individual work.
Sometimes that isn't easy, as it's so tempting to take that time to go and meet friends or watch TV, because you're so much more independent. Just make sure you prioritise and get assignments done, and then reward yourself with some free time afterwards.
The noise outside is gone after the builders have left and the shops are closed and I'm ready for bed after a long day.
If you're more of an active person at night, then Kingston offers many pubs and clubs with music to suit all different tastes. For people who prefer something else, there is also bowling lane, a cinema and a theatre in close proximity of the uni.
You can see more of the Kingston Uni student's Day in the Life here.
Posted 24 Jun 2014 by Adam
Video games are a great way to have a break and I have always used them to escape from reality. I love playing Fifa and any sporting or shooting games with friends and family both online and locally. Sometimes that ten minute 1 match can turn into hours! Here is a blog I did a few years ago of when I used it to help motivate me to study http://www.kingston.ac.uk/undergraduate/ask-us/videos/view-video/51/my-study-techniques/
Even when I have really important deadlines or near by exams I always need to play some sports. It's a great way to procrastinate but I really think it mentally helps me cope by reducing the stress and it's the perfect escape route. It's usually a combination of tennis and football in the evenings. More recently I tried out sailing at Kingston on the river Thames and for me it's really helped me keep calmer during my manic final year.
Social media and browsing are always a great way to pass time, most of time I do it I don't even realize how long I've been on Facebook whether it be home or on the go. Often when I have to do research for an assignment, random web browsing about anything other than the work I need to do is a common occurrence. I often also over indulge in eating, perhaps it's to give me energy or maybe just another excuse to procrastinate.
Who loves doing their house chores? I certainly hate doing the dishes, cleaning up after myself and everyone, but when there is an assignment or revising to do then for some strange reason tidying isn't the worst thing to do anymore. Usually I get an overload of dust so I will have to counter balance it off with some fresh air and sunshine in the garden or local park.
Precious minutes sometimes turn into hours, and one playlist turns into several and I would have barely written a sentence. Sometimes a break or mental plan of what I have to do can subconsciously be helpful, as long as hours don't become days! I was always a last minute person with my final year 87 page dissertation given in 20 seconds before the midnight deadline (I had a whole year to do it)
However I love working under pressure and if I could go through University again I wouldn't change my style one bit. It's what works for you at the end of the day :)
Whilst you're at university, I guarantee that you will meet some amazing people! I have met people that I know will be life-long friends, as well as people who changed my life in other ways, such as tutors who gave me knowledge, as well as my boyfriend! I think whilst you're here, it's really important to not be afraid to make conversation - just say hello, you never know who you're going to meet!
Most people (including me!) lived with their parents before they moved to university, which often means that they're not the best cooks in the world! I would really suggest that you try and cook new things, firstly so you don't starve, and secondly to save money on takeaways! I learnt to cook a bunch of new things, recently I made lasagna from scratch (my Mum almost fainted when I told her!).
We've all been there, when you haven't had enough time to write an essay and end up doing it the night before and pulling an infamous all-nighter in the library...but trust me, it's not the way to do well! If you really want to do well in your degree, which hopefully you do, then start early! Once you get the essay questions start to research them and plan which you want to do and how you're going to answer it! I truly believe that people who do this get much better marks, so it's a good thing to remember - especially in 2nd year!
When you're at uni, there's a good chance that your other friends will be at other uni's - so use it as an opportunity to travel and see some parts of the country that you haven't seen before. Being at uni is also a great time to do things that you wouldn't normally do, or that are just a bit strange! Last year I did a fancy dress pub crawl in the seaside town of Bognor Regis with my boyfriend and his uni friends, and we all dressed up as Nintendo characters. It was an event put on by a different university to Kingston, but still fun to be involved in none the less! (And let's face it, drinking from 8am-4am the next day whilst dressed as Pikachu is something that we all have to do once in our student life!).
This is possibly my most important tip, and I really think that exploring your career is a thing that everyone should do. Most people come to uni with a career in mind, but being at university, and especially being so close to London (if you're studying at Kingston) will allow you to see if that career is definitely for you! To try your future career out, there are loads of volunteering opportunities, internships and placements that you can apply for to give you that all important experience, as well as make it clear that you're making the right career choice! Kingston have a great volunteering department and can help you find something to do no matter what you're interested in!
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