Preparing for the Big Move!
Firstly, if you’re reading this it’s because you have been successful in gaining a place at university so congratulations!!
Moving away from home to start university will probably be the biggest step you will take so far in your life. Forget sixth form and college, uni is the first time in your education where you are fully independent. It’s all on you… from getting yourself up for early morning lectures, visiting the library for resources and setting deadlines for assignments… there’s no teachers to micromanage your schedule and keep you on track.
So you’re probably asking yourself… What do I need to take with me to university? There’s no such thing as being over prepared…. So here’s a quick guide to making a smooth transition into university life!
Preparing for the move:
- Contact your accommodation to find out what is provided for you and what items you can/can’t take
- To keep all your irreplaceable belongings safe, purchase a safety deposit with a secure locking method to keep these safe throughout the duration of your stay.
- Making friends is always nerve wrecking, so sign up to chat forums through the university and social media sites to find students in your accommodation as well as students on your course.
Packing for the year is never going to be light work, but moving into a small room with limited storage means you need to be sensible and concise with what you take! Follow the link for a list of things you may need!
Managing your Finances:
Most people starting university will be managing their finances for the first time. So it’s important to sit down and budget yourself to make sure you don’t run into any trouble and dip into the bank of mam and dad!
Work out your monthly income then make a list of compulsory out goings monthly – these are things like your rent, bills, food shopping and potential travel expenses. From here you can then work out the position you’ll be in at the end of each month!
Ways to help:
- Choosing a good bank account – Finding the right account for you can make all the difference. Each bank offers a range of different benefits throughout your years at uni… So make sure you shop around and choose wisely!
- Budgeting – the most important thing you can do – working out your finances for each month will help you massively throughout your time and make all the difference when you graduate! You’re already going to be in a fairly large amount of debt from your tuition fees so let’s not add more debt to pay back!
- Studying and Work-life – Although university lecturers may advise to not work throughout your studies, this is not feasible for the majority of students. So looking for part-time work can really help you out financially every month. As long as you find the right balance between the two, it shouldn’t have a negative impact on your time at university!
- Learning to say NO – Learning to say NO to going clubbing every night of the week will massively help your bank balance stay healthy! Yes, it’s fun and part of the experience, but your body and bank balance will thank you for it come graduation!
You should have done this already, but if you haven’t do it immediately! You and your parents need to fill out a form which will decide how much and if any, student loan/grants you are eligible for. This can make all the difference to your university life!
To apply follow this link … https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance/change-an-application
Being academically prepared:
It’s all good being prepared for the move by having your flat and clothes packed – but being academically prepared will be the best start for you! Try to contact your university to get a copy of the reading list for your course – buying these books will be expensive but they’ll be your bible for 3 years! Instead of buying brand new – check online websites to find second-hand copies to help cut costs!
You won’t need to buy all of these books – some will be for only appropriate for specific modules – so you can check these out at the library whenever you need them! Get your lecturer to advise you on which ones to buy and which ones can be checked out the library!
Having access to a laptop or desktop computer at home or in your student digs is very important – yes libraries and some computer rooms have 24/7 access on campus but around busy times like Christmas and summer computers become hard to come by on campus so having a laptop at home can make all the difference!
Finally – ENJOY YOURSELF!
As scary as all of this may sound, there’s no doubt that your time at university is the craziest, fun-filled, learning experience of your life! So make the most of your final years of freedom before you step into adulthood.