London is easily one of the most attractive cities for students to complete their degrees. It delivers world-class education. Getting a qualification from UCL, Imperial College London, or Brunei will help you stand out when applying for future jobs too.
However, student life isn’t all about the quality of your lectures. It’s equally about your quality of life as this is the time to live it to the full. This is another area where London is one of the best locations anywhere on the globe.
So, how can you be sure to make the most of your time in the capital? Here’s all you need to know.
Live On The Outskirts
It might sound counterproductive, but one of the best things you can do when living in London as a student is to move out of the city. Central London is crazy expensive, even if you manage to get lucky and find student accommodation. Besides, getting around Zones 1 and 2 can take just as long as getting into the centre from the outskirts. If you want money to actually do things, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.
Whether it’s the outskirts of the city (Barking, Barnet, Croydon) or a town that has good train links to the city is up to you. From the east, Basildon to Fenchurch Street is a little over half an hour by train. From the west, Woking to Waterloo is even quicker. Firstly, it’ll save significant sums of money on rent. It also allows you to combine elements of busy city life with a more relaxed lifestyle seen outside of the capital.
Make A List Of Landmarks To See
When visiting London for a weekend, you’ll try to cram as many activities into your short stay as possible. When living in (or on the outskirts of) London, you are under less pressure. However, many students finish their time in the capital with regret. After all, the city is bursting with adventures at every turn. While you will naturally discover plenty of places in a spontaneous way, making a list is vital.
There’s a long list of historic and cultural places to visit. Some may benefit your education, others simply deliver life experiences. Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Carnaby St, and Trafalgar Sq are just some of the best. On a side note, you’ll probably want to invest in a decent digital SLR camera. The photos can document the best years of your life and the magical memories.
London is a hectic city. For the sake of your sanity, you need to be prepared for the challenges that it can throw up from one day to the next. Downloading the must-have London smartphone Apps will turn you into an honourary Londoner. Instantly. This will help you navigate the public transport network, schedule your days, and manage your money. Of course, it can help you meet students and other city visitors.
Good organization can extend to other aspects. Downloading a translator App will allow you to communicate with everyone in the city. Meanwhile, you should invest in a good backpack, a portable phone charger, and other essentials. It’s a good idea to store some spare cash in case you lose a train ticket or get caught short too. Aside from the practical benefits, it will deliver peace of mind throughout your student years.
Embrace Performance Culture
London is home to the world’s best theatre, and a trip to the West End will feature on your list of things to do. However, it’s also home to some of the best upcoming talent, including students. Whether you’re a performer or a fan, there are many opportunities to get involved. Music, art, drama, and stand-up comedy are just some of the focal points. Cheap entertainment, workshops, and courses are readily available.
The open mic scene is truly one of the best ways to network with like-minded people. Whether it’s an event for students or not, the development of creative skills can aid your academic growth too. Above all else, though, it’s guaranteed to provide lifelong memories. If you are serious about performing, a long list of future stars used their student years to launch their careers. Or you could look to talent agency work.
Embrace The Passion For Sport
London arguably packs in more world-class per square mile than any other city on earth. Football is the national passion. Even if you’re not a hardcore supporter, watching a big match at the Emirates, Stamford Bridge, or Wembley is amazing. If you can’t get a ticket, the nearby pubs still offer a great atmosphere. Tours of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will blow your mind too, even if you have no interest in the sport.
Other sporting activities in the city include rugby, cricket, swimming, cycling, and tennis. For the latter, Wimbledon fever is an incredible thing. If you can’t get there, the Surbiton event at the start of the grass season is a great way to see some top stars up close. Perhaps the most memorable sporting events, though, are the charity runs and bike rides. Whether an athlete, volunteer, or spectator, they bring something extra special.
Find Work Opportunities
When looking for a standard part-time job, London has many opportunities. Or if you elect to stay just outside the city, you can probably find something closer to your temporary home. As a student, earning a little extra money is vital for supplementing your Student Loans Company Maintenance Loan. In addition to traditional employment, you may look to earn a side income as a blogger, vlogger, or reviewer.
While you cannot ignore the need to earn money, you should also consider the long-term career goals. Being in London opens the door to some of the biggest and best companies in all industries. Securing temp roles, paid internships, and work experience alongside your studies can be very rewarding. You will learn valuable skills, increase your understanding of the business, and make key contacts. It grows your confidence too.
With so many wild activities to enjoy, it’s important to let your hair down and enjoy the good life. After all, those moments of relaxation will deliver the life balance needed to maintain a positive mindset. This can work wonders for your motivation and staying power. After all, there will be plenty of stressful moments along the way in which you feel like giving up. As well as life enjoyment, you must stay healthy at all times.
It’s easy to let standards slip when you make the transition into student life. In reality, though, student gym deals give you the perfect opportunity to unlock your fitness potential. It may seem like an expense, but it can become a cheap hobby and also opens the door to competing on the university sports teams. Crucially, though, a healthy body breeds a healthy mind. When combined with good nutrition, you will perform better in lectures.
Make Money Last
Technically speaking, financial management can fall under the category of good organization. Likewise, it can borrow ideas from other tasks (cheap gym, open mic, cheap landmarks) too. Still, a conscious effort to manage your money can extend to understanding the full extent of potential student discounts. Meanwhile, looking for the cheapest pints near each tube stop will save money. We’ll say cheers to that.
Of course, there are many additional steps to consider. It can range from using the yellow sticker discounts in the supermarket to sharing essentials with housemates. Each saving removes the pressure. It may also be possible to arrange skills trades with other students to save time and money. Of course, learning to enjoy free locations like the parks, canals, and attractions will also reduce your daily expenses.
Embrace Student Activities
While the idea of open mic events has already been discussed, this is only one way to enjoy the student network. Aside from connecting with your own college, checking out the best forums will help you discover what else is happening around the city. Depending on your interests, you can get involved in political matters, student films, and a range of other student community tasks. The opportunities are virtually endless.
Student activities can be linked to your area of study and expertise. Or it may offer you a break from the stress of your work. Either way, helping out others can also result in them reciprocating to help you. This could be hugely important for research assignments or practical coursework for your degree. Aside from anything, though, it’s a great way to bond with other students. Some friendships will last a lifetime. Others won’t. But they will all have a positive impact on your memories of those student years in London.
The Final Word
Whether you’ve already been accepted for a place at a London university or you’re considering your options, the city is ideal for your studies. With the above advice at your disposal, it’ll be equally rewarding for your social life too. What more could any student ask for?