Starting University can be an exciting prospect, but it can also be nerve-racking and intimidating. Making sure that you have done everything you can to prepare for this new journey, will make you feel much more comfortable when it’s time for the big move.
Check out the area you will be living in
It is likely that you will already have made a visit to your university town, to check out student halls and the University itself. But you may not have had much time to check out the wider area. If your University town isn’t too far away, take a day trip with your parents or friends to get your bearings.
If it is further away, Google will be your friend. There will be likely be a forum or article about the best spots in your home away from home.
Things to consider are supermarkets within walking distance (for that key ingredient – pasta��); student bars and pubs; local transport and walking routes.
Sort out all your student perks
Being a student comes with a lot of perks. From student discount offers at a massive variety of shops, restaurants and bars to national and international travel. Take advantage of these perks!
Apply for a student rail card to make visits home, or day trips elsewhere, more affordable. Weigh up the advantage of having an extended student card (like an NUS card) in addition to your standard university card. Check out what additional discounts they offer and if you would be likely to use them. If not, it probably isn’t worth the extra cost of getting one.
Make sure you have the skills to live on your own
For most new students, this will be their first time living away from the comfort of their parents’ house. It can be hard to make the transition into making your own meals and tidying up after yourself. Before you make the move, ensure that you have a few basic life skills to get you by.
Learn a few simple (and cheap) recipes. This will prevent you from turning to the convenient pot noodle or beans on toast. Make sure you know what settings of the washing machine to use. This is key (unless you are planning on saving all your dirty washing for trips home). And if you don’t already, get used to washing your own pots, making your bed and ironing your own clothes. Being tidy will make your uni halls much more pleasant.
Check out your course’s reading list
It may not be the most exciting part of starting university but making a start on your reading list will help you to feel much more prepared when it comes to actually starting your course. If you have some time before the big move date, take a minute to check out the resources you have been given.
Another boring put important requirement. Ensuring that you have completed all the necessary admin tasks will give you peace of mind when you move.
Register at the university, or a local doctors practise. You don’t want to end up spending hours at a walk-in centre if you inevitably contract the Freshers flu. You may also be required to have a meningitis jab.
Make sure that you have all the documents you might need, such as your University and halls acceptance documents.
Work out a vague budget for the first semester
You will soon be getting your first student loan and it can be easy to feel like you’ve got more than enough money. But that money can disappear quickly if you’re not careful. Take the necessities into account before blowing your money on nights out or a Freshers fancy-dress outfit.
When you move out, you will have to consider the cost of rent and bills, which will take a good chunk out of your maintenance loan. On top of this, you may also be required to buy textbooks, which can be surprisingly expensive. Make sure you have budgeted for all of this before working out a loose weekly budget.
Checkout your University’s Freshers Week schedule
There will be an abundance of events throughout Freshers week – so many that it will be impossible to go to them all. Take a look at what events are planned in your University town and make a not of all the ones you are desperate to go to.
Knowing the schedule before hand will help you prepare anything you might need early on (like a fancy-dress costume). It will also help you to plan social outings with your new flat mates – invite them to join you at the events you want to attend!