September 3, 2020, by Agnes

Things I wish I knew before starting university

Before coming to uni, I didn’t even know what questions to ask! In fact, in most cases, I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. Mostly, I figured out these things by myself – but you don’t have to!


They’re the easiest mode of transport between the university and the city! It takes about 20 minutes to travel between the two, and it’s quite cheap. When buying tickets, you’ll probably quickly spot that buying a day ticket is cheaper than two single tickets – so even if you’re only planning to take two tram journeys (eg. there and back) it’s more cost-effective to just get a day-ticket! One thing that isn’t as obvious is that if you download the Net Go app and buy your tram tickets through the app, they will be even cheaper!

Hidden costs

In a lot of courses, you’ll be asked to get textbooks or equipment that can get quite pricey. You can try to find out whether there are some extra costs you’ll need to cover for your course through the university website – if not, it’s worth sending an email! Either way, it’s worth factoring unexpected expenses into your budget! I’d also like to mention that although some of these are simply unavoidable, others you can find your way around. For example, you should be able to find most textbooks in the library and if not, you can request it to be added to the library – so really, you shouldn’t need to buy any textbooks!


Living in halls, Beeston is a lot closer than Nottingham city centre – about a ten-minute walk from campus! It can take a while for students to figure out how useful Beeston can be – it’s full of restaurants and cafes, big supermarkets and other amenities. Walking down the high street, you’ll pass hairdressers, a post office, nail salons, even a fruit and veg stall on some days! Anything you might need, really.

Ups and downs

Freshers week will probably not be the best week of your life, sometimes you’ll be too exhausted to get yourself to lectures and there will be times you can’t even bring yourself to get some food. Sometimes you’ll forget all that and feel on top of the world when you’re out with your friends or when you’re having late-night chats on someone’s floor. Your first year is rarely ever the best year of your life, or even the best year of university – but it doesn’t mean it’s not still great. It’s important to manage your expectations… but try to enjoy every step along the way.

If you’re interested in more – check out my post about 5 things I learned in my first year of uni!

Good luck!

Posted in Agnes