University is just a taster of your true potential
Like many British Asians, we all remember that time when we packed up our suitcases to go to university.
We said goodbye to teary parents on the driveway, ready to take one of the biggest steps of our lives.
But, university life opens so many doors for you. Young students are granted the freedom to lay out their own future for themselves, as new adults.
So what’s life like for the average British Asian university student?
We have some useful tips on how you can make university life work best for you.
Living away from home for the first time is definitely hard work.
Especially for those British Asians who are used to their mum’s roti and daal every night when they came home from school.
But now you’re an adult and the responsibility to look after yourself is all down to you.
That means, cooking your own meals, shopping for groceries, cleaning your own room and doing your laundry – regularly!
For many British Asians, this can be a tough juggling act, but the organisation is the key.
The best way is to keep a rota for laundry day and grocery shopping, normally once a week.
If you’re living in halls or sharing with other students then you can try and rotate cleaning and shopping with them.
Or, even pick a day to do them all together – that way they won’t seem so much of a chore.
Whilst it is a big adjustment to get used to all of these things, it builds key life skills and takes no time to get used to.
Many British Asian students find the university transition a prime time for their social life to boom.
Independence and freedom, especially for those living away from home is an exciting period.
University accommodation is a great way of forming strong bonds with people by sharing the same building, kitchen and sometimes even room!
University life also offers opportunities for clubbing and enjoying the nightlife. Many British Asians seize this opportunity and experience parties and bars to the max.
However, too much of a good thing can be bad. The dangers of excessive partying and drinking can lead to serious long-term effects.
It may seem at the time that the only negative outcome of an ‘all-nighter’’ is being hungover.
However, excessive drinking can cause damage to your health as well impacting your focus and application to lectures.
Drinking and partying can also lead to other things like drugs, and sometimes peer pressure can lead you to try things you didn’t intend to do.
Be free to enjoy yourself as much as possible, but know what you’re doing.
In January 2020, Student Problems revealed how some of the top UK universities rank in terms of sexual partners.
Leeds Beckett University and Southampton Solent had an average of eight partners.
Whilst Liverpool Hope, Nottingham Trent University and Staffordshire University had an average of seven.
It’s normal, especially in the modern-day for British Asians to be sexually active before marriage.
But regardless of this activity, many students also find their long-term partner in the first week of freshers.
So it can be said that students are pretty consistent in connecting with fellow peers!
For many British Asians, it is a lot easier to maintain an easy-going relationship at university than being at home.
Some British Asians are not necessarily ‘allowed to’ or are frowned upon for being in a relationship before marriage.
University offers those students to have a more relaxed approach to relationships, allowing them to meet and date a number of people.
There are examples of people even meeting their future spouses at university, so you never know!
A great way for students to meet new people is through societies.
Societies are usually student-run organisations that allow for a group of people with similar interests to share their passion for hobbies and traditions or to promote professional development.
South Asian societies are very common, some universities even offer more individualised groups that separate into nationalities, e.g. Indian/Pakistani societies etc.
They can ensure that British Asian students still feel the cultural aspect of their lives.
It is a great way to meet other South Asian students too.
Sometimes you just have more in common with a fellow South Asian friend as they have experienced similar events and values as you have.
It could also open up to potential dating relationships and long-term friendships which is important and university.
Of course, university isn’t all about having fun.
There is some serious work involved, especially if you’re on an intensive course that will lead you straight onto your career path.
While many say that the first year doesn’t count to your final classification, it’s still important to pay attention.
This builds foundations and certain habits that allow you to learn and adjust to the different teaching styles and expectations.
It’s definitely not like being at school where you can guarantee your teacher will chase you for missed homework.
At university, it’s different – the responsibility to study and turn up to lectures lies entirely with you, so it’s important to take it seriously.
Whilst some see this as a good thing, missing deadlines or lectures will definitely impact your work and in turn, impact your final grade.
As with many South Asian families, achieving less than expected does not go down well.
Finance is a big issue for many young students going to university.
Paying for accommodation, tuition fees, weekly food, study equipment and events is a difficult task for anyone to overcome.
With the rise of tuition fees to over £9000 per year, the task has become even harder. However, the government does offer grants for students in some circumstances,
Although taking out a student loan is a popular option, you don’t have to pay this back until you are in full employment.
Even then, you have to be earning over £21,000 a year so and pay back a small amount each month.
For example, if you were earning £25,000, you would only pay back £30 a month.
It is even common at some universities where ethnic minority students receive a grant each year for simply attending the university itself, so see if you can qualify.
Likewise, there are scholarships as well which you can apply for if you meet the criteria. These should be available on the university website.
Additionally, private bank loans are also an option. But this would require research to make sure you don’t fall into more debt in the long run.
University is a great experience that can benefit your future in so many ways.
It will allow you to become the independent, approachable and confident person that all the employers are looking for.
You can also build upon key life skills to help you in all aspects of life. University is just a taster of your true potential.
Most importantly, it will prepare you for the bigger and more challenging world after education.
Whilst you should enjoy your time, meet new people, explore and experience different things, be sure to work hard.
Focus on achieving your degree to reward all those hard hours you put in.