Flickr: Tim Sackton

Bookish tips for freshers

Welcome to the beginning of your career at university! Imagine this: you wake up on your first day, eager to get started, but then you realise how hungry you are. To solve this simple problem, try a cookbook. Many recipes, even those targeted at students, come with a long list of ingredients, some of which you’ll buy from some obscure corner of the grocery store, use once, and then leave to collect dust in the cupboard. To combat this, try something like the 4 Ingredients Student Cookbook by Hamlyn, which comes with recipes of (you guessed it) four ingredients, plus essentials that you know you’ll use time and time again. If you’re open to buying some more equipment, try cookbooks aimed specifically at students, like The Really Useful Ultimate Student Cookbook by Silvana Franco.

After a hearty breakfast, it will be time to go to class. A great way to prepare for what’s to come is by reading a study guide. Something like Write Great Essays! by Peter Levin can give you the basics of reading and writing at university which, spoiler alert, can be quite different to that at school. Keep in mind that every tutor has his or her own preference as to how things should be done; but it cannot hurt to get some preliminary information, then personalise it as needed. If you’re looking for more general advice on university life as a whole, there are many guides including College Safety 101 by Kathleen Baty. This particular book has advice on a range of topics, like getting along with roommates, coping with stress, socialisation, and more.

A great way to prepare for what’s to come is by reading a study guide

Whilst reading up on all this, don’t forget about the actual course-related reading you have to do. You will probably have a hefty reading list handed to you by now. Try to get these texts as far in advance as possible, so you can get an early start. A good way to get books secondhand is to join Facebook groups for the upcoming year and for the year that’s just finished, especially if they’re specific to your course. Chances are that you, someone looking to buy, will find someone looking to sell. Other students may already have posted about selling their books; if not, you can always ask. Secondhand bookshops are also good for some potential good deals, and for any literature students, make sure to look around the book fair organised by the Literature Society once term starts.

By the time classes are finished and you’ve attended all your events for the day, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. If you find yourself getting lost in one too many anxieties, try a book like Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. This particular one comes with short tidbits of advice that won’t take you long to read, and may just help when, sometimes, things get a little too much. In case you feel particularly down, I would recommend taking a comfort read with you from home, whatever that may be. At the end of a long day, a familiar read can be the most comforting of all.

Try to get reading list texts as far in advance as possible, so you can get an early start

Finally, when you head out for the night, books have got you covered as well. If you’re looking to be well-prepared for a pub quiz, something like The Best Pub Quiz Book by Roy and Sue Preston might help you out. For circling inspiration, take a glance through The Little Book of Drinking Games by Quentin Parker. And if you’re hosting a party yourself, try Rufus Cavendish’s The Little Book of Cocktails or Games for Bored Adults: Challenges. Competitions. Activities. Drinking. Just hope you won’t end up needing Parker’s The Little Book of Hangovers the next day


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