Skip to main content

Essential Advice You Didn’t Learn At University


Your degree can teach you so much; it can open up a world of opportunities and allows you to get into the nitty-gritty of your chosen subject. However, there are so many other life skills that shape your independence which are overlooked in the academic bubble of lectures and seminars. To help you practice the scary act of “adulting”, here are 5 useful life skills your lecturer may not have covered.

1.       Taxes

By now you’ve probably gotten yourself a part time job, a summer job/internship or maybe you’re just about to start your placement year. If so, then you’ve probably come across tax codes and what they mean. However, if you’re still in the dark, here’s a brief description of the basics of what you should know:

-1185L- This code is for anyone earning less than £11,850 (between April 2018 and April 2019, AKA the taxable year) you won’t be taxed.

-However if you earn between £11,851 and £46,350, you will be taxed 20% on any income that earned over £11,850. This is especially important for those starting their Graduate jobs, and will be earning over the minimum threshold.

If you’re ever struggling to calculate how much tax you owe, the amount will automatically be taken from your wages before you receive your pay! Keep up to date with varying tax codes here:

2.       Money management

The fun of university can unfortunately be draining on your bank account, so checking out budgeting cards can be a good place to start. In the past few years, more 'online banks' have emerged, a few to note are Monzo and Revolt; this card acts as a top up card, allowing you to 'top-up' your allowance for you to decide how much you want to spend that week. What’s great about this card is that you can use it the same way as a normal card and link it up to your tap and go. In addition, the card can be used internationally and gives you the best interest rate in whichever country you’re in.

3.       Voting

As we all know, it’s more important to vote now more than ever. To ensure that you are able to do so, make sure that you are registered at your term time address, so that you don’t have to travel home every time you want to vote. If you’re term time address doesn’t have a polling station that is close, or your busy life doesn’t allow for that trip, you can always register for a postal vote. To register for a postal vote click here:

4.       How to write a cover letter and CV

A CV will usually be a recruiter’s first impression of you, so you it’s crucial you make it a good one! Luckily for you, the consultants at GRB have put together an easy-to-follow guide to help you out.

View our guide on your Graduate CV
View our guide on your Graduate Cover Letter

5.       Diet

It’s all fun and games when your student loan comes in and the take-outs become a daily ritual. However, making on a simple and easy diet, with high nutritional value could save you lots of money and make your food check-ins with your mum less embarrassing. For instance a simple meal like beans on toast can have up to 19g of protein and 13g of fibre. For those that can manage more, a simple meal like sausages pasta and veg means that you’ve got a fully balanced meal. The point is that no one wants to hear it, but you can’t sustain a diet on takeaways or frozen pizzas. There are lots of simple and easy recipes which can be found online that can support an easy diet. So take the time and do your research. It’ll all pay off on those nights you want to and can afford to go out at the end of term.

Alternatively, if you often find that you’re running out of time in between classes, socials, and work, then you might find that meal prepping might be the way for you. The benefits of which include: cheaper individual meals (as bulk buying often means you spend less), less overall cooking and a cooked meal that are always ready for you. If you choose to meal prep, you’ll discover that it takes one evening of meal prepping, for a week’s worth of no cooking. This one does take time and effort; however as someone that’s recently picked up this hack I’ve gained more time in the week to spend time on activities I want to do. Overall meal prep means that you can make sure you’re having great food and not binging on food that’ll inevitably make you tired and cost you a small fortune, because let’s be honest you’d rather spend money on your next night out than a take-away on a Friday night.  

Hopefully after reading this you would have picked up some essential skills that will not only assist you at university, but also help you to ‘adult’ successfully.

GRB Blog Author and Student - Noreen J

Noreen is GRB's Marketing placement student from the University of Winchester. She enjoys cheerleading and reading in her spare time.

Latest Blog Posts

You have spent the last three or four years at university and most likely have got yourself into a pattern. Getting out of it can be daunting but there are many things you can do instead of going...

Read more

Australia = surfing and interesting accents. But surely there is more to it? With GRB you can now study your post-grad in Australia, so here are 5 reasons why you should study abroad in Australia!

Read more

Choosing a career can be a daunting task for many graduates, however, one career path that is often overlooked but has tremendous potential is becoming an insurance broker. This is a career path...

Read more