Something that I struggled with a lot in my first year was cooking myself healthy meals, and exercising regularly. I play hockey, but I’m a goalkeeper and if I’m honest I should have bothered to get to the gym more.
As a student its easy to succumb to the idea that takeaways are the ‘easier’ option, albeit definitely not the cheaper one! After drunken nights out, when you can’t be bothered to go shopping or when beans and bread are all you have left in the cupboard it can seem to be an easier option to get JustEat up or order a dominoes but they add up.
Most students miss the home comforts of parents cooking, even those who do cook at home often aren’t used to cooking every day for themselves. Before you go away for university asking parents for a few simple recipes is a good idea. Meals that can be pre-made and then put in your freezer also helps for healthy convenience meals for those days you feel lazy.
One thing I’d recommend is trying to go food shopping with your hallmates or housemates in first year. Even if its not all of you if you get together as a group of four or so it will save a lot of money on the basics like bread, milk, butter etc. This is something that I did not do in my first year and I now realise, from sharing shopping with my housemates this year, that it would have saved me a lot of money and wasted less food.
When it comes to exercise the University gym is a great option. As a student you can join for a discounted price, which has been lowered even further this year. There are other options such as the 24 hour PureGym a little way away from the university, which has the bonus of being open for longer but is more expensive.
I’d also highly recommend going with a friend, especially to classes as that would keep you both motivated to go to the gym.
Planning meals for the week also helps with lowering the cost of your food shop. If you make a list you are less likely to buy frivolous items that you don’t need and that will just take up space in your fridge and cupboard. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, having a couple of ideas for meals you’re going to cook during the week saves both money and time.