The new academic year is here! Read a letter from a member of staff who has written a letter especially for you with their advice on how you can make the most of your time as a Salford student.

This letter was written by Lauren, a Business Management graduate. They identified themselves as an undergraduate student who lived on campus in student halls and they were the first member of their family to go to university.

Dear student,

It takes a lot to get to this point, not just academically but financially and emotionally too. You should be so proud of yourself.

My advice for new students is: be scared and then be brave. Talking to new people and letting them see the real you is terrifying but it gets you to your people so much quicker. It’s important to treat yourself kindly – almost as you would a toddler. If you aren’t feeling like yourself, it’s usually because you need to eat more fruit and vegetables, sleep better, get some fresh air or socialise so tap into your inner parent and, in the words of Shia LaBeouf, just do it.

I often felt like I was waiting for my life to start so if I could go back I would get used to going places on my own much quicker, for example taking myself out for a nice lunch with a book, going for a coffee, walk ing into a party on my own and exploring new areas of the city. Once I got into the swing of it, my world opened up and it was a total joy.

Sometimes at university I felt like I was smashing it, I was busy and having fun. But often I felt very low. I didn’t have reliable family support and it could be lonely. I felt uncertain a lot of the time. At times I would spend entire days in my room and lose track of night and day. I was depressed and anxious. I had counselling support which was really helpful, I took up hobbies like knitting and started to work in a theatre which meant I got to see shows for free and meet new people. It helped me feel like myself again.

In my final year, I wish I had known how much I would want to go back and do it all again. After university, it might feel like everyone expects you to have your life together, but that‘s impossible. So don’t worry if you’ve not got onto some graduate scheme or your job isn’t that well paid. It can take years to find a job you like that is interesting and pays well and gives you the life you want. So if you’re job hunting after graduation I’d say look for work that is at least linked to your values, hobbies and interests. 

My favourite memories from university are the mornings after the night before, all meeting up in living room or sitting on bedroom floors comparing notes on ‘what happened’. Honestly some of the funniest, most side-splitting stories I’ve ever heard. 

I wish you every success, good luck! 

Lauren, Business Management graduate 

This letter is one in a series written by Salford staff members and alumni to you and your fellow students. We hope that, by sharing our experiences and advice, we can help you settle into uni life and feel excited for all that you have to come. Want to read more? There’s plenty to choose from.