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The best new student survival tips from UAL’s Commonplace

E+C_local_area_photos_by_Lewis_Bush (59)
E+C_local_area_photos_by_Lewis_Bush (59)
Lewis Bush 2015,
Written by
Helen Carney
Published date
18 August 2015

If you’re starting student life in September, one of the best places to go for practical tips and advice on the whole UAL experience is Commonplace.

‘A survival guide to UAL and London shared by students for students’, Commonplace covers everything from exploring London on a budget and making new friends to handling course deadlines and getting involved in clubs and societies.

As you will see below, four of Commonplace’s newest contributors are LCC students or graduates, which we think will make these posts even more useful to anyone heading for (or returning to) Elephant & Castle next month.

E+C_local_area_photos_by_Lewis_Bush (59)

Elephant & Castle. Image © Lewis Bush

What Is University Like?

by LCC student Lilufa Uddin, BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies

“I’m going to make it my job to tell you that university is one of the biggest investments you can make in your entire life.

It gives you the skills to retain complex information, make well-thought out analyses, reason, and stay committed to a task determinedly. So when you think about it, university sets you out to become a better and well-rounded person.”

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Multitasking London
by LCC student Kelly Macbeth Mackay, BA (Hons) Advertising

“When you’re here, the best way to see this majestic beast of a city is to open your eyes. Walk down side alleys. Check out little churches that you see an old sign for in The City. Take a random left instead of following GPS on your phone to Topshop.

There is no real advice for how to dominate this place, but I would say that if you want to truly see what it has to offer for you, if you want to actually see and experience the rich cultural history that it has, then the best way is to explore.”

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Don’t Be a Hermit During Your First Year!
by LCC student Tania Beck, BA (Hons) Journalism

“It is so important to socialise during your first year otherwise you will get bored. Keep in mind that the first year is the easiest so there is no excuse not to join clubs and societies. If you don’t want to join any of that, you should still get out there and explore the city.

There are a lot of places that you can go for free like museums and parks for example. Unless you are more of a solo traveller, exploring the city would be better with friends.”

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Long Distance Relationships at University: 10 Tips to Making It Work
by CSM student Adam Willis, BA (Hons) Graphic Design

“Often when one half of a long distance relationship happens to be busy with parties or events, the other half can be left feeling somewhat alone or left out. This can be particularly frustrating when the busy half is not making enough effort to talk to their boy/girlfriend, and leaves only a vague bread crumb trail on social media.

My advice: even when very busy, make yourself take a time-out, choose a chunk of time you have free and commit to a chat.”

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I Love South East London
by Chelsea student Alice Elizabeth, BA (Hons) Fine Art

“The thing is, South East London has a bit of a longstanding reputation. To me, Peckham was where Rodney and Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses lived, scraping a living selling rubbish at tacky markets, and Brixton was the backdrop of race riots in the ’80s. Elephant and Castle was somewhere ‘you shouldn’t go on a night out’, and Old Kent Road, well, it’s the cheapest spot on the Monopoly board so that spoke volumes.

As for Camberwell, Stockwell, and New Cross, I knew little about them, but this in itself worried me, as I hadn’t a clue what sort of place I’d be finding myself in.”

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Everyone Is 10 Years Younger Than Me
by LCC graduate Cara Waddell, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

“Tutors will continually tell you that working is harder than university. This is a lie, university is MUCH harder, more stressful, more emotional, more personal.

You are never too old to get so stressed out you cry in front of your tutor, your fellow classmates. It’s OK. Everyone goes through a huge range of emotions, and it can help bring you closer to other classmates and help support each other.”

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