Some things about university life you just can't know until you've got there.
Or can you? We asked some of our speakers and writers to tell us what they wish they'd known before stomping the ground to graduation.
Here's the second WIWIK (or 'what I wish I'd known'... slick, right?)
A few handy hints by Nathalie Bonney, Push Researcher and actress (English Literature @ Reading)
You need passport photos for everything:
What with an NUS card, library card, hall passes, sports membership cards, etc, not only will your wallet feel deceptively heavy, but you will constantly be flashing pics of your mug about the place.
Of course, not everyone is concerned with the superficial. Some individuals won't care a jot if a photo of themselves circa the-troublesome-earlier-teenage-years makes its way onto their student ID.
Others will find this more painful. So, prior to studentdom, get yourself acquainted with the nearest photo booth and get a good few rounds taken. And make an effort. Wear clothes you like. And, smile!
Don't go after swimming with wet hair and transparent eye-lashes. I still cringe when I hand over my 16-25 Railcard.
There are loads of ways to make a spot of extra cash:
Once you're used to being papped as much as a supermodel in the midst of a scandal, why not take advantage of your new 'skill'? Hop along to your local police station. No, not to turn yourself in for hideous amounts of drug-taking, but to find out if they still hold identity parades.
Some local stations keep a register of volunteers, so, after you've had your photo taken and filled out your vital statistics, all you have to do is wait for the cops to contact you.
You can be paid around £10-15 an hour and if the witness or suspect doesn't turn up, you could be called back again. Easy money. Just make sure you don't miss a lecture to do it, okay?
It is okay if you decide you're not so fussed about your course?
Choosing a course can be tricky: do you go for the subject you love or a degree that gives you a professional qualification at the end of study? Do you like a few different subjects?
Don't panic. Of course it's an important decision, but universities recognise that people change their mind and many are willing to cater for that. In a lot of cases, the first year at university doesn't count towards final degree marks. It introduces the student to their subject – and to studying in a different format.
Although a student applies for a particular degree, once accepted, they may be required to choose other subjects (called subsids) for the first year. They may face exams in them too.
The point of this isn't to relive the trauma of 'A' levels but to give a taste of other degree courses and therefore the chance to switch courses before the degree proper begins.
Spaghetti carbonara is one of the easiest (somewhat impressive) meals to cook... ever:
Student cookbooks are great tools for young adults thrust into the real world with no more kitchen experience than operating the toaster and carrying mum's roast to the dinner table.
While Nigella's ‘Panfried Chorizo and Scallops’ is a delight, Asda don't do smartprice versions of either of the key ingredients.
A basic cookbook geared at students is probably as useful a buy as a toastie machine. Joy May's NOSH for Students has hundreds recipes as well as advice on essential kitchen equipment and the perils of trying to cook in halls from a mum who knows ('perils?' I hear you cry: just think about it, 20 people = 20 saucepans of pasta divided by four hobs = a long wait = potential anarchy). It costs less than fiver from Amazon where you can find similar titles.
Alternatively go to a website such as studentrecipes.com and get the recipes for free. Woo hoo!
Just to send you on your way: here's a rather easy carbonara:
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We're always interested to hear from talented young writers, so if you'd like to feature as a guest author then hit us up for more details.