The top 5 things you can do to prepare for your first year
Firstly, congratulations! If you are reading this, you have probably finished your school exams and are starting to think about the next chapter of your life: university! Along with making the most of the summer by just relaxing, if I have shared some of my top tips of what you can do to prepare for your first year so that you are not stressed a few days before your moving in day:
1. Start thinking about what you need to pack (and do it!)
I have shared my own extensive list of the things you may want to consider packing so the hard bit is done, all you have to do is find the stuff:
Something that didn’t exist in my first year but does now, is Amazon lockers on campus which will make your life a lot easier. You can get an Amazon trial as a student for 6 months, and your first 6 months are probably the most ideal time to make the most of it since you will be living on campus (aka a maximum 2 minutes walk from the nearest locker). You can order anything you may have forgotten or realised you need via Amazon Prime, and have it delivered to the lockers on campus the next day (or sometimes 2-3 days later, but you will be informed of the expected delivery online and it is usually always correct). This saves you the walk to the postbox and means you can enjoy your first year without worrying about heading to the shops, a luxury I didn’t have so make the most of it!
So don’t overpack and don’t stress about forgetting something important!
2. Start thinking about the modules you may want to do in your first year
Having a vague look at the module options that may be available to you in your first year is a good way to get a small headstart to your first year. This way, you know what to expect and are not suddenly faced with too much information whilst trying to settle into your new environment. Equally though, don’t feel like you need to decide now since you will have taster lectures in your first few weeks to help inform your decision.
3. Do some light academic preparation (if you want…)
Hopefully, you chose your degree because you are interested in the subject so this should be perfectly doable. Emphasis on the light preparation though: you won’t be expected to know everything there is to know, and equally, the first year really is just about teaching you the basics.
However, if you are a keen politics nerd and want to do some preparation, I previously wrote a post on my recommendations of the top 10 politics books you can read.
Similarly though, even just doing something as basic as reading the news and being aware of what is going on in the world is really easy to do (and as a soon to be Politics student – reading the news should be something you love doing anyway!)
4. Familiarise yourself with cooking and doing your laundry
Technically this is two separate points but they both come under the tasks a lot of students dread. I came across “Mob Kitchen” a few months ago but it seems like something that I could have really benefitted from in my first year: http://www.mobkitchen.co.uk/
The site has a lot of key ingredients that you should consider purchasing and some basic recipes that anybody is capable of doing. It is worth spending the summer trying out a few of the recipes so that you can impress your first year flat of your new skills!
If you haven’t already, definitely make sure you know how the washing machine works- these are the two big skills you will need at university so get used to them now!
5. Just enjoy your summer, spend time getting back into your hobbies or just Netflix-ing.
Bit of a cliché one but it is so true. You have worked so hard to finish your final year exams and have probably sacrificed some of your hobbies in that process. You deserve a break and don’t feel guilty for having one. Sure, it is the summer – get out and enjoy the *fluctuating* British weather, but equally, it is okay to just want to catch up on some sleep and watch some TV sometimes.
You are academic and worry-free – enjoy it! You don’t have any revision you can do, and this may be your last summer without worrying about your future career or applying for internships etc. Make the most of this time!
And once again…
Shanita 🙂 xo