Preparing for university life
For many Year 13s and gap year students, one of the main concerns is actually starting university. Because there’s not really any transition days for university, students often feel that they don’t know what they need for university. I have come up with a few ideas on how to prepare for university life.
1. Living Away from Home – because most people move away from their home for uni, it is probably a good idea to learn how to do basic household chores e.g cooking, washing clothes.
Financially I would advice to learn how to handle money. You’ll be living off your student finance for the whole year, hence it is best to watch your spendings.
2. Social Media and Open days – if you don’t know anyone that is going to the same university as you, maybe try to find a couple of groups on facebook or twitter. On facebook a lot of people end up opening a group chat as well, so it’s definitely worth joining and socialising through this.
If you go to any open days, you might find someone that is going onto the same course as you. You could then maybe exchange phone numbers or facebook IDs and stay in touch with that person before starting uni.
3. Bank accounts – Realise that there are certain benefits with different bank accounts. For example, Santander offer you a railcard that you can use to get discounts of train tickets. NatWest offer a coach card to get reduced coach tickets. However, these benefits could change when you apply. So at the time of opening up a student bank account, make sure you research into the different types and don’t forget to take your UCAS confirmation letter to open up an account.
4. Societies – use the univeristy website to look at societies that you might want to join beforehand. This might also tell you if there’s a society fair around the time of starting university, which you could then attend.
5. Perhabs come to the campus a couple of days before lectures actually start? This could give you the opportunity to explore the campus and meet your flat mates without that much stress of settling in and finding your way round the campus.
6. Academia – make sure you send off all your paperwork before starting university. This includes sorting out your Student Finance as well as accommodation. If you’ve applied through clearing, make sure you ask your university what the accommodation options are. Sometimes they offer guaranteed accommodation on/off campus. This will depend on the university and year you apply for.
Buy all stationary, notebooks and calculators (if needed) before you start the first term. It might be advantageous to look over your modules just to get an idea of the course. Additioanlly, you can ask your department if there’s any recommended reading you can do during the summer holidays.
The last but most important information I want to give you is to try not to panic or be nervous about university. A lot of students will be away from their family in the same situation as you. Hope this blog post has made the transition sound a lot easier than thought.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a comment below and assuming that everyone has now finished their exams:
Hope you all have a fantasic holiday!