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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 22:11 GMT 23:11 UK
Students write university survival guide
Housemates and authors Jenny Hawkins and Lucy Clarke
Student survival guide authors Lucy Clarke, left, and Jenny Hawkins
Two third-year students at Cardiff University have written a book advising young people on the pleasures and pitfalls of student life.

Housemates Jenny Hawkins and Lucy Clarke decided to write the book in a bid to end the constant rows about whose turn it was to do the washing up.

But they soon realised they might be able to make a difference to the thousands of young people who leave home each year to start their higher education.

The book Student Survival Guide - what to expect and how to handle it is launched to coincide with the start of university term across Wales.

Tip 1: Money
Get a job
Avoid credit cards

Jenny said the publication was a natural extension of their effort to bring some order to the shared house in which the two of them live.

"This led us to think of the all the useful little things that we wish we'd known before we started university."

Their self-help guide to the trials and tribulations of student life includes a section on how young people should handle their finances.

In a world in which student life is often funded by going into debt, the pair advise that freshers should consider taking on a part-time job to eek out their limited funds.

Tip 2: Study
Learn self-discipline

And to avoid making their debts worse, it is best if students avoid the tempatation of simply buying things with a credit card.

Going to university is often the first time the teenagers starting term now have been away from home for the first time.

This can mean that some freshers - first-year students - may need to develop some self-discipline if they are to knuckle down to study, according to Jenny.

She advises new students to find out who they work with best and in what circumstances.

Tip 3: Social life
Remember: you have only one liver

She said: "Coming straight from school you are often used to being spoon fed, so you have to learn to self-discipline yourself for the first time.

"This means organising your own timetable and finding out when where and who you work best with," she said.

The other significant part of being away from home for the first time inevitably involves developing a thriving social life which will usually have alcohol as an important constituent part.

The book includes a section on drinking games but also has advice on how to steer clear of some of the down sides of a boozy night out.

Cardiff University students Lucy Clarke and Jenny Hawkins who have written a student survival guide
Lucy and Jenny's book was prompted by the washing up.
Things which the girls suggest are: to eat a meal before going out, not to mix drinks too much and to drink some water to help prevent dehydration.

Lucy said, "Remember you only have one shot at a degree, one liver and a limited number of expendable brain cells."

The two friends hope their book will help others to miss out the problems they have encountered during their time at Cardiff University.

Jenny said: "This Student Survival Guide will help you through the haze which is your first taste of independence."

Student Survival Guide
"Remember: you only have one shot at a degree."
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