University intake is in progress and soon first years will arrive with their new clothes and the latest kicks but little do they know what lies ahead for them. So freshers, as you pack your suitcases and leave the security of your parents’ home, ‘leave the nest’ to explore the world, here are the last eight pointers to help you along the way;

9. Take care of yourself
Spa DayFresher’s flu – a particularly persistent and horrid kind of cold/cough/flu – is rife around this time of year. New people, new environment, and a demanding social schedule can mean that your immune system is more susceptible to getting a small illness that can ruin your fun. If you feel a little bit peaky, try taking vitamin C to bolster your immune system – or if you’re really feeling drained, take a multi-vitamin tablet daily. However, if all else fails…

10. Open a student bank account
BankLots of banks offer student accounts with various perks, so figure out which one is the best for you and open it. If you already have a bank account, you should be able to change it to a student one –just pop into the local branch and have a word. Compare deals for students offered by all major banks. Plus, this will help you save more plus earn interest just like that. Who don like free cash?

11. Volunteer
volunteerAgain, another great way to meet people, potentially learn new skills or develop old ones! I promise you, you will feel good about giving something back. Most student unions have a volunteering arm. If not, there is a great database you can search to find volunteering opportunities near you. Currently there is one looking for Uni students to go teach in primary schools with a shortage of teachers.

12. Be open-minded about others
open-minded-parachuteEveryone’s nervous and most importantly, everyone is in the same boat when it comes to starting university. Be open-minded – even if someone doesn’t seem like your kind of person, give them a chance. They could be the most interesting person you meet all year. Treat people with the amount of respect you want shown to you.

13. Sign up for free-choice modules early
free classWhether you want to get a taste of another subject you’re interested in, boost your marks with something you know that you’re good at, or improve your foreign language skills, the free-choice module offered by many universities represent an opportunity. Sign up early and you won’t be disappointed when your module is oversubscribed. Plus in some private Unis the first couple of weeks you can attend-visit other classes that you are not registered for. It is like a preview of what the course will be about.

14. Learn to budget
BudgetSimple, but so many forget to do it. By the end of the first month you may find yourself living on noodles, mandazi and water as you spend too much of your money having fun and going out. Some people find setting up an excel spreadsheet helps. Some find the ‘iron budget’ simpler – go out with a set amount of cash and no cards.

15. Try new stuff
tryUniversity is one of those times in life when you’re supposed to experiment and find out what makes you tick. Why not try something you’ve never even considered before – join a crazy-sounding society or get a group of friends together to do a fun activity like surfing or zeroing.

16. Keep off drugs
No drugsSo what we get drunk, So what we smoke weed,
We’re just having fun, We don’t care who sees,
So what we go out, that’s how it’s supposed to be
Living young and wild and free” Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Doggy
This might be the anthem for college life, but beware because things can go downhill very fast under the guise of “having fun.” In the process, you might lose yourself and the whole point of college. It is important that even as you ‘search for yourself’, you are aware that “to find yourself, think for yourself” – Socrates. Do not be a follower, take the path less travelled. I aont telling you to be a boring, just make the most of your time in college to broaden your thinking and enrich your experiences. All things in moderation…AWESOMENESS!!!

By Muthoni Wachira