BY ROMANO MULLIN
The Haynes Student Manual bills itself as a ‘complete guide to university life’, and true to its promise it covers everything from living in halls, to safe sex to study tips. The manual is intended for those students about to begin their university experience, but it also contains some tips for current students and postgraduates.
The layout of the guide is easy to read, with different subsections allowing for rapid access to particular issues. It covers points of uni life as diverse as the importance of registering with a GP, to explaining the purpose of the democratic services offered by students’ unions and even has an up-to date guide on tuition fees for each area of the UK.
Although the Student Manual can at times feel as if it’s verging on the edge of condescension, it appears that some secondary school leavers really do have no idea how to use a washing machine, cook meals or even make beds (things have changed since I got my A-level results). So in this light, the section that goes into sometimes gory detail on how to clean the bathroom is probably necessary. The book also provides useful tips on how to do simple DIY jobs around shared accommodation, including unblocking a sink and replacing plugs. Anyone who’s ever lost their deposit because a stingy landlord wouldn’t fork out for repairs knows all too well the perils of living in private accommodation, and these tips may come in handy for even veterans of student living.
Another valuable aspect of the Student Manual is its no-nonsense approach to sexual health and substance use. Explaining with an in-depth guide different kinds of drugs and what they do to your body, the guide does not moralise or make judgements. It simply urges students to be careful and be aware of the risks of all kinds of drugs, from alcohol to cocaine. There is also an in-depth warts and all guide on STIs and STDs, and a table on different kinds of contraceptives detailing their effectiveness and possible failures.
Although the Student Manual is clearly catered towards students based in Great Britain, it is still packed with bumper tips for Queen’s students on how to get the most out of your university experience. Whether you’re about to become a Fresher and settle into Elms or you’re a soon to be postgrad student preparing yourself for hours or study in the McClay library, the Student Manual could be worth a read through.