It’s getting closer to the day you all move in and start your university experience! i hope you are all enjoying binge watching what do bring with you to university videos on YouTube (please tell me I was not the only one!)
As a girl who moved from Ireland to Edge Hill University, I thought that making friends would be the hardest part about university but low and behold I was very surprised…doing your own washing is the hardest part. However, although it is not the hardest part about starting university and I had a very good friend that I knew from home, it can be quite nerve-wracking especially if you are introverted like I was so, here are some of my tips on how I managed to get people to be in my company voluntarily.
BE YOUR BEST SELF!
I’m sorry for how cliche this is but it is seriously so true. People have this weird ability to sense if people are being fake and this only heightens when you get to university. I will admit that I was very scared to be myself in front of my fellow classmates and flat mates but once I got comfortable, let’s just say that we are now very close and they know why I am not myself around everyone I meet…
Societies will be your first best friend!
I have heard that joining these at the very start of the year can be so useful when wanting to make friends in an environment that you are comfortable in. For example, there are musical theatre groups, dance groups, Doctor Who groups and many more that you would never think of. Don’t make the mistake I made and not join one of these!
Go on nights out!
This is another classic case of do as I say and not as I do. I made the mistake of not going out much with my flat mates and not being able to meet new people outside of my course. I now have learnt that while being an introvert is not a bad thing, it can be damaging when you want to meet new people. Take my advice and push yourself to socialise outside the confines of your flat because, while it might be hard and scary you won’t regret it!
Now that I read this blog again, I really should have titled it, ‘Mistakes I made whilst trying to make friends.’ I really hope that you find the friends you deserve because they really do make the difference to your university experience.
“Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you”
Before we begin I want to point out that this blog is intended for those applying for finance from Ireland (Republic of.). This is my first blog, and for good reason. Applying for finance is daunting at the best of time but try setting your heart on studying at a university only to be told ‘Oh, you will struggle with money because the student loan company wont give you maintenance”. That’s exactly what happened to me. But don’t worry, I am living proof that it is possible.
So the first thing to do is not panic. If you have just been told that you wont get money from the SLC (Student Loans Company UK) ignore everything they have said. For a start you will get a fees loan from them, assuming you qualify, just like any other student. The money you wont receive is the maintenance, but we will cover that in the next section. For now the first thing to do is get on the right track and get the EU student application pack (Here!). Fill them out and if you need help have a parent or guidance councilor sit down and look through them with you. Get on that early! If accepted that will be your fees sorted.
Next it’s onto money to live. This is where I freaked out. No one knew what was going on, and I couldn’t find anyone that had gone through this process before. After calling and calling to different organizations the solution turned out to be easier than I thought. SUSI, or Student Universal Support Ireland, will still pay for students attending school abroad. If you currently attend an Irish secondary school your guidance councilor can help you apply or you can take it on yourself (Here!). And to top it all off SUSI is a grant. That’s right, a grant. Not a loan, you don’t have to pay it back. So just go ahead and apply like a regular student and if eligible SUSI will deliver your grant money once a month.
So its as simple as that, you get your fees from SLC and your maintenance from SUSI. Knowing is always half the battle.
Here are a few extra tips from me:
Apply early. Get it done and out of the road. SUSI may also require your parents to do taxes early so be prepared for that.
Dont lie. Be honest, they will catch you out.
If SUSI ask for a letter describing the loan you will receive from SLC you need to wait for your SLC loan to be approved before they can issue it.
SUSI will only pay into an Irish Euro account so make sure you keep one open.
Remember the exchange rate plays a part in how much money you have when you spend it here.
If in doubt call! SUSI: +353 (76) 1087874. SLC: +44 (141) 243 3570
You can check if you are eligible for a SUSI grant and how much you will get by using the reckoner – (Here!).
If you do find yourself here for an open or applicant day, check out the student finance stand. It’s usually in the hub.
That’s all from me and I hope this blog can help some of my Irish fellow students. If you have any other questions about Edge Hill then feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for free advice and answers to your questions, or leave a comment below this blog and I will get back to your personally.