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Top tips for your finances

Starting university may be the first time you have been financially independent. The thought of having to juggle rent, bills and food costs can be a daunting prospect. But have no fear, there are a number of things you can do to keep yourself a float whilst studying, ensuring there is still enough to spend on enjoying yourself too! Choosing to live at home whilst at university is an attractive option to many, often meaning you get to avoid paying the market rent and buying your own food shopping. The compromise may come however from having to endure a lengthy commute to campus, so it’s worth working out what suits you best. For those that choose to move further afield and go it alone, it’s worth researching rent prices in the area where your preferred universities are. Rents can vary vastly across the UK, with the more expensive rates being located in the South East of England and often cheaper rates in the North. University halls tend to be more expensive than the local market rents, however keep in mind that the price often includes utility and internet bills.
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Counting the cost: managing money at university

Of all the fears prospective students have about coming to university, personal finance seems to consistently eclipse the others. This is understandable. University is, for many, the bridge between ‘kidulthood’ and adulthood. Before, it was just your parents/guardians who fussed over the bills. Then, all of a sudden, it is you who feels the weight of responsibility in your hands. It’s a matter of treading in unfamiliar territory. Yet it need not be as fearful, if you can learn how to properly manage your money sooner rather than later.

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Choosing a course: The three C’s

When I received the confirmation that I would be going to study my desired course at my first-choice university, I was thrilled! Now two years into my studies, I strongly believe that should be the attitude of every prospective university student – an enthusiasm rooted in satisfaction. The decision to go to university is not one to be taken lightly. So, it is important that you thoroughly consider your reasons for pursuing higher education, as well as what you want to study. Giving it all serious thought ahead of time is the best way to ensure you are making the right decision for yourself. When you know that you have made the right decision, then it’s easier to enjoy your course and embrace your university experience. So, here are some tips and insights to help you choose the right course for you: the three Cs – career, curiosity, and competence.

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Campus facilities, hobbies, societies and fitness

When it comes to keeping up with your university work, it pays off to take note of when and where you study best. There is a wide range of study facilities available on campus, offering options to suit everybody’s needs. The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons offers a state of the art study centre comprising of computers, group study space, and a range of options for independent study time. The facility is open 24/7 during the academic year, allowing you to get stuck in to your studies at any time. You can make the most of the study facility whether you work best first thing in the morning, or whether you are most productive working at night. For those that prefer to spend time in the city centre, be sure to check out the John Rylands Library. As a student of The University of Manchester you can make the most of the special collections found here, as well as the magnificent architecture.

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University accommodation and beyond

In my first year at university, I lived in halls of residence. The University of Manchester offers a range of different halls so it’s important to research the accommodation on our website to get a clear idea of what your options are. The halls I lived in were organised in separate flats of eight students, half girls and half boys. If you decide that you want to live in halls when you start university, there are a number of things to consider.
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Plan, plan, plan – managing your time…

I am sure I am not the only one who cannot believe it is January 2017 already. It feels as if 2016 was just a few weeks ago! What is more shocking is that I will be graduating soon. While coursework and exams can make the days feel long at times, the period of life you spend as a university student is actually relatively short. Whether your degree is 3 years or 5 years long, you will undoubtedly be surprised at how quickly it all goes by. This is why it is imperative to make the most of your university experience by managing your time wisely. Some of the most useful things I have learned from my lecturers have been outside scheduled lecture times (which is a perk of visiting them during office hours). One of my lecturers once encouraged me to view myself as a toolbox and my time at university as an opportunity to fill it up as much as I can, so that I will have made myself as useful as I can by the time I graduate. The analogy was a powerful one and it has stuck with me ever since. I have some tips and insights which can help you make the most of your time as a student.

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