Being independent

Life skills to master at university

Every year at university you'll learn all kinds of lessons, both in and out of the lecture hall.

There are plenty of skills that you learn when becoming more independent, especially at university. Here are some of the kills to master during your time in Portsmouth whether you're in your first or final year. 


There's one rule of budgeting: don't spend more money than you actually have. Simple, right? Making sure there's more funds coming in than going out can take discipline and organisation.

The earlier you create (and stick to) a budget, the easier it will become. This will mean less stress in the long-run and more time having fun. 

Introducing yourself

Meeting an influx of new people and having to introduce yourself is very true of your first year of university, but really this never stops. Whether it's meeting new classmates in your second year, new friends in third year or new colleagues as a graduate, this is a skill you'll continue to master.

If you're not sure where to start, why not try a compliment? Whether it's about their clothes, hair colour or stationary choice, you'll be surprised at how well it works. Or a classic "hi" can go a long way. 

Cooking, not microwaving

Now it's time to keep yourself fed, with real food not just noodles and beans. Stock your cupboards well with essentials and master a few simple meals that are nutritious and easy to cook. 

Once you've mastered the basics start batch-cooking and collecting Tupperware to store leftovers and freeze meals, it'll make meal times even simpler. 


When you're living away from home you need to learn to clean. Everyone has different experiences and expectations with their new found independence, but keeping your home clean is essential. 

If you need to get a cleaning rota in place do so, but make sure to clean up after yourself. Your housemates will thank you and it'll save time in the long run. 

Saying no

Sometimes saying yes can be great! It opens the doors to all kinds of new opportunities that never otherwise would have happened - like coming to university. 

But you can't say yes to everything. Sometimes it's good to say no and decline an invite. It's a seriously underrated skill that many people struggle with, but sometimes is the better thing to do. 

Managing your time

You'll notice very quickly how different university is from A-Levels and GCSEs. Now you're expected to manage your own time - welcome to independent studying. 

Avoid the stress of last minute work and get a good study-social balance with your calendar. Try scheduling times dedicated to studying to break down work into more manageable chunks. 

Asking for help

It can be one of the most difficult things - asking for help. But you can't be expected to do everything on your own.

Soon you'll know exactly who to go to, financially, academically or even personally. But remember, no one is really alone at university, there's always someone to talk to and ask for help. 

Switch off and relax

Surprisingly, it can be very difficult to do nothing. This is especially true at university when there's so much to get involved with. 

It's really important though, to take a break from study, socials and even societies on occasion. Sometimes you need to take a break, re-charge and indulge in some self-care. 

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