My UK university hacks: A Chevening Scholar’s guide to cracking the student life code

Current Chevening Scholar and Social Media Ambassador (SMA) Itumeleng Sebeho shares his top UK university hacks as a master's student at the University of Warwick.

Obtaining admission into a UK university is an incredible achievement. But the reality of meeting deadlines, managing a budget, and maintaining a social life can be challenging!

Fortunately, throughout my time at the University of Warwick, I have developed some ‘student life hacks’ that have allowed me to improve both my productivity and quality of life. I hope they can help you too!

‘Good stress, bad stress’

Moving to the UK is an exciting experience, but the reality of being away from home and navigating a new environment can take its toll. It’s for this reason that I cannot stress enough: looking after your mental health should be your top priority.

My university offers free 24/7 wellbeing support to help with this. They have helped me adapt to change, reflect on how I’ve felt at different points in my life, and are even there for me when I’m just doing ‘okay’.

My personal mental health hack is to find a quiet safe space where you can meditate. I try to do this at least once a week to block out all the external destructive noise.

‘Money matters’

Save! Save! Save!

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of being in the UK, but make sure you take the cost of living into account, especially when you’re operating on a student’s budget.

My personal mantra is to save more and spend less, like the old saying goes:

Do not save what is left after spending; instead, spend what is left after saving.

For me, the fundamental reason why I save money is so I can explore more of the UK.

My university provides me with some money-saving hacks to help with this, including budgeting advice and student discount offers.

Another money saving hack is to take advantage of freebies, which you’ll often come across as a student. For example, my university offers free breakfast every Tuesday and Thursday (for term 2) to everyone! This hack is two-fold because I get a healthy free breakfast and I get to make new friends.

Learn to play with other kids’ 

Joining your favourite sports team or participating in clubs and societies is great for personal development.

With over 250 sports and societies on offer at my university, I find that staying active and entertained is not difficult.

I currently partake in ‘rock-up and play’ sports, like football. But I’m also hoping to join a sport I’ve never played before.

Never stand still; keep moving.

‘Thank U, Next!’

An integral part of being a Chevening Scholar is the ability to network and make lasting connections.

My top tip is, whether it’s a networking session, workshop, or dialogue, always take a register so you can keep in touch with the people you meet.

Building a strong network with movers and shakers will help you achieve your goals more rapidly. Remember, your network is your net worth!

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