10 free things you can get from university
University is often billed as a place where you get in loads of debt and lose all respect and dignity on your nights out.
This may be true to some degree! However, if you do a little bit of snooping there are actually things that you can get out of your University beside lectures and that massive weekly hangover.
Free services from your university
Here are 10 things that you could get for free from your university:
I’m not talking about grants and scholarships and all that side of things and Universities don’t literally hand out money (more’s the pity!) but a lot of Universities can give their students jobs whilst they study.
These can take many forms: the most common of which is being a student ambassador where you get paid a decent rate to show people around campus, do a bit of office work and even get the odd free meal or social do out of it.
You can even get paid to write about your time at University! The University of Nottingham recently posted an opportunity where students got paid a whopping £7.28 an hour to blog about their experiences.
An advertising service
If you are planning on starting your own business then your Uni can definitely give you some free promotion.
It depends what you are advertising obviously and everything has to be legit, but uni can be a great place to get some free advertising. It helps even more if your business is geared towards students such as advertising a nightclub or something like that.
Even us here at Save the Student had some love from Manchester uni (see pic above)!
A social venue
This is maybe one of the more obvious items on this list, but it is one which is overlooked.
Instead of paying over the odds to hang out in some drossy bars, just do a bit of socialising at uni instead. Most Unis have pubs and coffee bars on site as well as common rooms and even hanging out in the library can be decent.
Plus it saves you schlepping out all the way into town so you can conserve your energy for more important things (sleep/going out/drinking).
Free use of facilities
If you are at uni then you can often get some nice discounted rates on sport and academic facilities. Normally study rooms are free to hire.
Things like gym membership will come at a cost. However, a lot of unis incentivise this so if you pay for a membership for example, you might get free use of the sports hall or the astroturf for a kickabout with your mates.
It is always worth checking with the sports centre on campus what you can get out of them.
Often unis offer a lot more than just a degree, with a wide variety of supplementary courses which you can shot on your CV and add to your employability.
A lot of the time such courses are free and relatively enjoyable, particularly if you do them with your mates. Admittedly some courses aren’t free but you may get them at a cheaper rate than you would elsewhere, such as coaching courses.
A place to conduct your own business
This links with number two and is particularly pertinent if your business is aimed at students or working with young people.
For example, you may be someone who studies sport and wants to set up their own coaching school to make a bit of cash on the side. Your University could let you hire out the facilities, in return for getting some good publicity in the local community.
I did tutoring whilst I was at uni and often tutored many of my students in the library on campus, which was a safe and open environment.
We all know how pesky writing essays can be and we’ve all often bemoaned the fact that we left them to the last minute and didn’t have chance to check over them. Well, if you pull your finger out and get it done a few days before the deadline, often Universities have a proofreading service (normally run through the library) which will check your essay for grammar, typos and other minor errors.
Whilst this is helpful, if you have a nice lecturer then they could cast their expert eye over your efforts and suggest some improvements.
As someone who has had their essays proofread a lot, I found it really helpful and it definitely boosted my grades. I am actually a proofreader myself now and you can see the difference a good proofreader makes to an essay.
When you go on freshers (and refreshers for that matter) you are always bombarded by a myriad of free pens, posters and pencils, but did you know that you can actually get free stationery outside of these heady times?
Admittedly this is one of the less exciting items on the list but everyone loves a freebie. Uni libraries or the place you go to hand essays in often have spare stationery going begging and you may as well bag some free goods.
Starting a new business venture whilst at Uni? Feeling a bit homesick or just need some extra support with your studies? A lot of unis offer free mentoring and support which will help to address all of the aforementioned issues.
I had this when I went to uni in the form of business coaching and I found it really helpful in starting up my own business (proofreading) and it is good to have someone to talk to when you get down, which we all do.
Most unis offer free counselling services too, which can be a great support.
A job after you graduate
This is the biggie and if you enjoyed your time at uni you may want to stick around for a while longer.
Some unis have graduate intern opportunities for a year, which can often lead to something more permanent if that’s what you’re after. Even if you’re not, it could be an extra year to prolong the prized University lifestyle.