Advice and Support at Keele SU (ASK) is a free and confidential service that is independent of the University and is staffed by professional and experienced advisers. We support Keele students with around 1000 cases every year and, while we advise on a wide range of enquiries, we do see some common issues that might be avoided by following these tips!
Take care of yourself
Going to university is a big change and it can be a stressful time even when you're enjoying yourself. Practise self-care, eat healthily, get some exercise, and make sure you're sleeping enough. Reach out for help if you're struggling - talk to your family and friends and if you need professional support there is a counselling service on campus and 24/7 support through the Health Assured app. You can also talk to ASK, Student Services, or your personal tutor.
More information is in our Wellbeing section.
Don't rely on other students for information - they could give you the wrong advice
Every year we see students with issues that could have been avoided if they'd been given the right information and taken action sooner. For example, we see posts every year saying you don't need to pay your campus parking tickets because they don't pursue you - this is a myth!
Don't ignore academic problems
Talk to tutors if you're not sure about what you need to do. If your work is being affected by personal circumstances, submit an Exceptional Circumstances claim - don't wait to find out your results, it becomes much harder to get your circumstances considered after you've done the assessment. Visit our page for more information about ECs.
Back up your work
Computer problems don't count as exceptional circumstances, so make sure you save often and keep a copy on a separate drive or in the cloud.
Make sure you know how to avoid academic misconduct
You might think you will never need to worry about academic misconduct because you would never cheat - but there are a number of different forms of academic misconduct, and many students commit an offence without even realising it! You could accidentally commit misconduct by working too much with other students; showing your work to someone else; using the same words as the source, even if you've referenced; submitting the wrong version of your work; or even reusing your own words from a previous assignment.
It's really important you take the time to read the Code of Practice to make sure you don't make mistakes.
You can also read our article about the most common ways students accidentally or intentionally commit an offence.
Having a budget can help you manage your spending by encouraging you to set aside the money you need to cover essentials like rent, whilst showing you the amount you have leftover to spend on other things on a day-to-day basis. Visit our Budgeting page for tips.
This year, the cost of living crisis may make budgeting much harder. We've created a Cost of Living page with potential sources of income and tips to reduce spending.
Don't rush into renting a house for next year
It is a myth that all the best properties will be gone if you don’t sign up before Christmas – you don’t need to even start looking for housing until January at the earliest.
Tenancies are legally binding contracts, meaning you usually have to pay the rent for the whole length of the tenancy even if you change your mind before you've moved in. Take the time to make sure you can really afford the cost of living in that property and to check the tenancy agreement for any dodgy clauses. Make sure you'll be happy with your future housemates - the students who you were closest to in the first few months of your time at Keele may not be your friends by the end of the year and you could regret agreeing to live with them.
Visit our Housing section for advice on what to look out for when you start house hunting.