Life Hacks for Being a Student in Plymouth

By Lily Smith

We’re often told that your student years are ‘the best years of your life’, which puts a bit of pressure on students to make the most of all that university life has to offer. As a current student finishing second
year at Plymouth University, I’ve had the opportunity to properly experience Plymouth’s unique student life. Plymouth is such a lovely place to be a student with plenty of different activities on offer. It’s also a city by the sea, meaning that you get the shops and nightlife of a city with the added benefit of waterfront areas such as the Hoe and the Barbican. Here are my life hacks for first and second years at Plymouth University:

If you’re a Plymouth University 1st Year

1) Get on Facebook
Facebook is where you’ll find all the pages where freshers can connect (even before arriving here!) Plymouth University invite you to like specific Facebook pages once you have your accommodation confirmed, allowing you to find your future flatmates. This means you’ll be able to chat and get to know each other throughout the summer before moving into halls. It definitely makes that first meeting so much easier.

It’s also great to have a group chat for those ‘should I bring this?’ and ‘anyone fancy [insert freshers event here]?’ questions.

2) Over pack
I know, everything else you’ve read online has probably said the exact opposite. The last thing you need, however, is to arrive in Plymouth and realise you could have done with that thing you left behind. I’m not saying you should take a truck load, but packing that extra cushion or the fancy dress outfit that you might never wear won’t really take up that much room. The best thing about Plymouth University’s moving in process is how helpful the student ambassadors are. They helped me to carry my bags up the four flights of stairs to my new flat (I only carried my handbag!), meaning I didn’t have to worry about lugging all my stuff about.

3) Say Yes
Say yes to that cup of tea when you move in, the night out, or even be the person who suggests activities. The people you’re moving in with are more than likely going to be complete strangers, but the best way to get to know people is by spending time with them. Plymouth has so many great places to explore together. The Hoe is so beautiful and, as someone who comes from a small landlocked town, such a great place to explore with new friends.

If you’re a Plymouth University Second Year…

1) Make your new house a home
Your second year means you can move in with the friends you made from first year and create the house you want to live in. Student housing is still pretty basic but popping photos up or decorating with cushions is a great way to make it feel like your own. Plymouth has so many places to pick up house basics in a variety of prices ranging from Primark and Wilko or the slightly pricier Paperchase and Cath Kidston.

2) Manage your time
In second year, the workload increases and deadlines are often closer together. This means it’s important to get everything done on time and to a standard you are happy with. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your social life or your nights out (I’ve been out more this year), but make sure you find that hangover cure that allows you to keep going.

3) There’s still time to explore
Moving into a house usually means you’ll be in a new area of the city. This year I’ve been living in Mutley. Explore the area around you; Mutley is a popular area for student housing meaning that there is so much going on around you. For somewhere to eat, Café Sol and Hyde Park are nice and local. Central Park is also a beautiful place to visit if you need to escape the deadlines for a bit.

My overall life hack for a Plymouth Student is to make the most of the beautiful city and the surrounding area. There is so much to do and see, and it’s important to have a balance between work and social life. I’m now off to search for my own life hacks for third year, wish me luck!

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