Making the best of your time at University, thankfully, isn’t all about studying or working. In addition to flexing your brain in the library, you’ll also be practising your social skills – how to make friends, chat someone up or be chatted up, when to speak and when to listen. Follow these four tips to make sure you don’t miss out on an important aspect of University life.

Socialise

If you’re in halls or a shared house, don’t stay in your room, especially when everyone else is in the kitchen chatting away. Make friends with the people on your course – once you’ve agreed or disagreed with them throughout your seminars this becomes easy – a coffee, or a drink after, and don’t just talk about what you’re studying. When meeting people for the first time, if you’re a bit stuck, ask about them – where are they from? What music do they like? Finding common interests shouldn’t be hard. If it is – move on, and remember not to talk just about yourself!

Party

Parties in Halls of Residences are common, even when forbidden, and nearly all have an open door policy, but taking drink helps. The Student Union will likely offer a cheap night out – have a drink or two, and have a dance, especially if you think you don’t like dancing. You might surprise yourself.  As with most things, the law of depreciating returns applies to partying – the more you do it, the less fun it becomes. However, you can still get messy once or twice a month, perhaps even once a week if you’re bright, but every night isn’t a good idea.

Have Sex

Whether you’re new, just beginning or well practised, having sex is a part of everyday life and something you might likely enjoy whilst at University. If you’re not used to getting drunk be aware you may be putting yourself in a vulnerable position – hopefully your friends will be keeping an eye out – and random drunk sex also has its limits. Always practice safe sex – don’t learn that from experience – and never feel pressured. If it’s going weird or you just don’t fancy it, say no. If you have sex as part of a loving relationship, this is often better because of the intimate connection you’ll have, but be warned: this also has its pitfalls. Love is perhaps the best emotion, but there’s nothing quite like a broken heart either under which circumstances studying becomes impossible.

Be Informed

You’ll likely come across a few legal and illegal drugs whilst at University. A legal drug isn’t any safer than an illegal one, and some illegal drugs are statistically safer than consuming alcohol, so be informed. Although the drug classification system in the UK is confusing, whether you agree with it or not, being caught with an illegal drug may result in a criminal caution or conviction which can have all kinds of consequences. If you experiment with drugs, do some research first, and never feel pressured. Know what you’re taking and what its effects are, and don’t be stupid – heroin and crack cocaine are, for example, two examples of stupid you’ll always want to avoid. If you’re doing anything regularly, whether drinking, smoking a spliff or doing a line, stop, and if you can’t, get help. Also keep an eye out for your friends; if last night was twisted, check in on them.

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