Koi's declassified uni survival guide

The beginning of first term is imminent. It’s highly likely that you’ve been borderline scammed by a repulsively wealthy landlord with your rent prices (but don’t worry - we’re all in the same boat with the current state of the housing market) so it’s crucial that you at least try to follow certain steps so you can still enjoy yourself whilst not massively overspending.

September 9th, 2022 | Abby Brooks

This is pretty rich advice coming from me as I, alongside many of my peers, saw my overdraft as free money that I would only have to worry about ‘later’ (however now it is ‘later’ for me and I am still paying it off). Overdrafts are great for falling back on when your loan is running dry and you need a food shop, but do not, I repeat DO NOT go to Size? to buy a new tracksuit in Student Shopping Week using your overdraft. It is not ‘free money’…or is it? ;)

Get social. Or else you will die (not really but you will be sad).

Let’s not beat around the bush. You don’t want to end up with no friends. Try to meet as many different types of people as possible. It’s best to meet people in a variety of places so you can find ‘your people’. Even if it pushes you out of your comfort zone, even if you're as awkward as McLovin, it’s worth it - some of your uni friends will be in your life for years after (and some of them will be very, very strange). Definitely make an effort to get to know your flat mates and people on your course - even if you end up not getting along in the end, it’s always worth a try. Another way to meet people with common interests is through joining a society. My uni had a Fashion Promotion society and I met so many likeminded people there that I am still friends with now! I also met lots of people at raves and music events then connected with them on social media to meet again and again.

Don’t be embarrassed to join online groups.

Before you even get to uni, join some Facebook groups and group chats. I promise that everyone else will also feel like this is the most embarrassing thing in the world, not just you - but you gotta do what you gotta do. There’ll most likely be a group chat for your accommodation, so join that and get a feeler for who you’re gonna be living with. Give them a ‘lil social media stalk and ask some people if they wanna meet up once you get there - this is how I made all my friends initially! There are also other general freshers groups for your uni city/town that will be useful for finding people and seeing what’s going on, too.

(Try to) live your best life.

During my time at uni I often internally battled two mind sets. Let’s call them the ‘YOLO’ mindset and the ‘Sensible’ mindset. For example, if I was to be asked to go on a last minute night out and I had work the next day, YOLO would devilishly whisper into my ear: “Do it, you’ll be making memories…and if you don’t go, you’ll miss out and regret it, it’s only a 4 hour shift, who cares if you’re hungover at work?”, whereas Sensible would say: “Being hungover at work is definitely not worth it, you regret it every time you do it and you should probably save money anyway”, et cetera. My advice here is to find the balance between YOLO and Sensible. Don’t give in to one or the other, uni is about making memories and friends, but also about retaining your part time job so you can continue to make these memories.

Use convenient apps.

It’s super tempting to order stuff rather than physically walking to the shop because, duh, it’s so much easier…especially if you’re hungover. Ran out of Rizla or condoms? GoPuff some. Maybe you need some groceries to rustle up a meal and sort the hangover out, in this case you could make use of the classic Uber Eats, or spice it up and try out the new Gorillas app if it delivers near you. They are obviously overpriced, but that little boost of dopamine you get when your silly little delivery arrives makes it worth it. What did we do before technology? Walking to the shop? Could literally never be me. We love convenience. Just try not to do it too often.

But, don’t waste all your money on food.

Don’t spend too much of your money on expensive supermarkets and unnecessary food purchases. You can do this by taking as many lunches as you can, rather than eating out all the time. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time but once you get in a routine of buying food shops (preferably from Aldi or Lidl) then it’ll feel simple. Don’t shop when you’re hungry, you will make many unnecessary purchases. And one more tip - do NOT be fooled by the convenience of the massively overpriced Tesco extra and Sainsbury’s Local shops. They will genuinely rob you. Also, please eat fruit and vegetables.

Don’t ignore your family.

You may well get homesick at uni, and that’s very common - however, try not to visit home too much as this can hinder your experience. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a lot of us are guilty of forgetting to text family amongst the excitement of meeting people and generally being busy all the time. Your parents will not be happy if the only time you contact them is when you run out of money. Not cool.


These tips aren’t even half of the battle. There’s not much worse than waking up in the morning and curating the perfect outfit to then find out that you have no shoes to match. Having a shoe wardrobe full of staples and essentials will make life easier - you don’t need a huge number of shoes, you just need the right ones.

Chunky trainers for every day.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to spend the majority of your time in chilled attire. Think tracksuits, hoodies and trainers. Student style is notoriously underdressed and oversized, but little do most people know - a lot of effort goes into these ‘fits to look effortlessly good. Trainers are your new best friend - perfect for hot-girl-walking to uni when you’re avoiding paying for the bus. Also ideal for the pub and nights out, because who even wears heels at uni? Shop our trainers now if that’s your vibe.


We ALL need a trusty and versatile pair of boots in our lives for when we want to feel slightly more put-together. Whether you want to be looking effortlessly good for your lectures, go shopping, go for drinks or pair them with knee high socks and pretend you’re Olivia Rodrigo. Fall will also sneak up on you pretty quickly after you start first term, so you need to be prepared for temperamental weather conditions. You can always rely on boots to keep the rain away. Sound good? Shop our boots now.

Shoes for being super smart and studious.

Even if you’re struggling to immerse yourself into the studious lifestyle, it’s always fun to play dress-up. We’ve seen plenty of celebrities sporting the dark academia aesthetic including our queens Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid a la Wednesday Addams, and it’s all over TikTok, too, so why not join in? Grab some vegan leather lace up shoes or loafers, and pair them with cool academic pieces like a cropped shirt or a tie, and all-black of course. The lecture theatre won’t know what’s hit them. Feeling studious? Shop shoes now.


We all need that one special pair of shoes. The pair that gets all the compliments, the pair that you pull out on special occasions when you want to make a statement…your coolest, sickest pair of shoes EVER. For everyone, they’re different. They may have a bizarre flavour about them - like mushroom print or cow print; or they might have a mega platform to get that extra height you deserve. Whatever your show-stoppers look like, having them with you at uni will make life 10/10.

Hi, I'm Koi's Content and Marketing Assistant. I'm addicted to pop culture, music and finding out what the next trend is going to be; other than this, I'm always on the look out for vegan news. If this sounds like a bit of you, keep an eye out for my blogs as I'll also be covering exclusive behind the scenes content, all whilst adding that spicy Koi flavour.