Kate

What is the best bit of your course?

The course is really varied so you don't get bored. I wasn't sure in sixth form what areas of study I'd most be interested in. This sort of course helps you learn about different things and then specialise as you go on.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

I felt very homesick to begin. When I started here it was the first time I had lived away from home and I didn't appreciate just how far away it was. I keep in touch with my parents and friends at home using Skype, which helps. I've also done my best to keep busy here. I've made friends in my flat and through joining the ramblers' society. I think keeping busy is the key to combating homesickness.

How do you cope with money?

I receive a maintenance grant and I've also taken out a student loan for fees and living costs. I also plan to work during the Easter and summer break this year, although I'm going to have to update and improve my CV as there is lots of competition for jobs.

Where do you live?

I live in halls of residence. The accommodation is basic but clean and my neighbours are good fun. I've pably made my closest friends in halls.

Where will you be in ten years?

I'm not sure yet but I'm interested in becoming a social worker somewhere. The good thing about social work is that I think I could choose to work anywhere in the UK provided there was a job. It would be very flexible.

What do you wish you had known when you started university?

How nervous I would feel during that first week. When my parents dropped me off and left me alone, I felt awful and so lonely. It wasn't long before I met my neighbour in halls and we're now best friends. I can't believe I was so worried!

Top budgeting tip

If you're worried about money, avoid buying expensive birthday and Christmas presents and make people gifts! I like cooking so make jams and chutney.

Kate's Summary

Income
Tuition Fee loan £3290
Maintenance loan £4430
Maintenance grant £1040
Bursaries & further support £300
Savings £0
Termtime work £960
Holiday work £640
Family and friends £2000
Total Income £12660
Expenditure
Fees £3290
Insurance £0
Accommodation £3440
Utilities £540
Transport £1610
Shopping £1300
Socialising £1188
Eating £1040
Study £50
Total Expenditure £12458
Balance £202