When Ice Cube gives you one of the best pieces of life advice

Remember back in the good old days of MSN when your username would be filled with meaningful lyrics?

I feel like this quote from Ice himself would definitely hit the top 5 of best phrases to live by. 

Looking back at my time in uni, I often found myself struggling for inspiration or words of encouragement in difficult situations, whether that be an assignment I was yet to start or after an argument with a housemate. I scrolled endlessly through Instagram posts in the hope that I would find one image or one phrase that would give me the lightbulb moment to my problem. Although I may have found one or two thought-provoking posts, the wise words of smileysarah94 weren’t going to solve the situation. Only I could.

If I could go back in time to give myself one solid piece of advice to help throughout uni, I would quote (I’d like to say rap but I’m afraid this is a skill I’m yet to master) these 6 words:

“ Check yourself before you wreck yourself  ”
– Ice Cube
“  Take a step back and remember who you are. ”
– My Interpretation

It’s so easy when you’re in the uni bubble to forget who you are. It’s exciting: the possibility of a new place, news friends and new experiences (some good, some bad, and some which will never ever be mentioned again). So, whether you’re about to start uni or you’re a year in and need some grounding, here are my top tips to consider before you wreck yourself.


One thing I learnt is that it’s actually okay to say no. No to nights out, no to the guy at the club, and no to the housemate who wants to borrow your ketchup. Despite the anxiety that you might feel beforehand, it’s better than the anxiety that follows. 

At more than one point, some of us will be absolutely skint yet still say yes to a night out. The next morning, you’ll wake up the next day deeper in your overdraft and filled with self-loathing and regrets. I once spent £70 in the SU. A place where pints were £1.80. HOW?!

2. you can be your own best friend

Realise that a lot of things you value out of a good friendship you have already. Like I said previously, it was me that finished that essay and not anyone else. It’s you who got yourself to where you now so take a step back and appreciate what you’ve achieved. Give yourself the biggest pat on the back because you deserve it!

3. Try something different

I think most students will say that they wished they’d tried more and got involved with more at uni. I found myself struggling to write anything under the extra-curricular activities sections on job applications other than the accomplishment of watching a whole series on Netflix in one day. Getting involved isn’t just great for your CV but introduces you to an entirely new group of people. Whether you’re a fresher or going into your final year, it’s never too late to get involved.

4. Experiment without losing yourself 

My favourite thing, especially in my first year, was how out of my comfort zone I was made to feel. I genuinely think this was the best thing uni ever gave me: the freedom to explore and be immersed in new things: from clubs to people. However, it does have it’s disadvantages. I drunk A LOT more than I ever had before and nearly failed my first year because of missing lectures. This made me reevaluate my decisions and think about why I was there. It’s important to find that perfect balance of what works for you and unfortunately, that means being an adult and saying no to a night out every now and then.  

5. ….and relax

I know it’s all ‘Frankie Goes to Hollywood’ and I don’t want to sound like a mad yoga lady but it is so good for you AND your health. Take time out a couple of hours a week to just chill and do something you want to do. This site has suggestions for places to explore in and around Cardiff: there’s waterfalls, rolling hills, and even seaside towns. Cardiff is the perfect place to live and also the perfect place to escape from. 

Do you have a story that could support or inspire students? Get in touch through joinus@myunibasics.co.uk

Keep exploring



Written by Emily Gardner, 9 months ago
Agree? Disagree? You can tweet them here @EmilyGardner_