Things to consider before starting university
There’s a lot to think about with regards to the university process, meaning that it can easily become overwhelming. In this blog I will talk you through a few important things to think about before starting your adventure at university, hopefully to make you feel more prepared!
After deciding on your top university and receiving an offer, it is the ideal time to start browsing through the accommodation options (different universities release the applications at different times, so be sure to check!). Everyone has different priorities- some want the cheapest, some are desperate for an en-suite, the list goes on! A good idea would be to jot down your 5 favourites, their prices and facilities and then order them based on preference. One piece of advice I would give is to keep an open mind, and not become attached to one accommodation choice (I did this and ended up with a different option which threw me off guard slightly). At the end of the day, the university will try their best, but there is no perfect situation for everyone. In my case, I ended up with a cheaper option, which I am now thankful for!
Another thing I would stress is to read over your course content for the first academic year. I know you will want to be enjoying the holidays, however, often once your place at a university is confirmed, a reading list may be sent out, or other preparatory work. This will not only prepare you but will gently ease you in to your course (it’s probably been a while since you last picked up a textbook!). Also, it gives you the opportunity to start searching for cheap second hand books- I mainly use eBay.
Ah, the uni shopping. Dreaded by some, loved by others. My advice would be to carefully check what is included in your accommodation (for example, some Universities provide bedding and others don’t). It might be tempting to go all out but remember that whatever you take must come back at the end of the year. It’s definitely a good idea to take some personal items from home to add some warmth to the room, but just remember that the storage space will mostly be under your bed. To save space in the car journey (I ended up sitting amongst my duvet!) buy essentials once you get there, such as food, stationary etc. Also, check what is allowable by the university on their website.
From my experience, I would suggest getting involved early! For example, tickets to freshers’ events are often released a few weeks before, as well as timetables of everything going on. To prevent yourself from feeling too overwhelmed, maybe jot down some things you definitely want to do. Of course, this may change once you meet your flatmates, and alternatives may be arranged. However, it’s always a good starting point! I also joined a few group chats involving course members and accommodation members. This just allows you to talk to some friendly people (meaning that you may recognise some faces once you’re there) and it definitely made me feel less alone and ‘new’ to the process.
Finally, stay positive and be excited! I remember the nerve-wracking experience on the way there, the constant worrying about making friends and settling in. Well, I’m four weeks into my second term at Warwick and I can confidently say that I didn’t need to spend so much time worrying!