Another university post! Yay!
I really like doing these kinds of posts, because I know that a lot of you will be going to university in September, and may not have the benefit of having an older sibling who can give you all the tips and advice you will need, so I like to think that I am doing a good thing here. As you can tell by the title, this post is just for giving you some tips for when you start university, and things you should remember, look out for, bring with you, do before you leave… all of that jazz!
Now, I know a lot of people do these kinds of posts in September time, but it’s always good to know things as early as possible so your last few weeks at home and first few weeks at uni are as stress free as possible.
- Depending on your halls/accommodation, start packing early. I was in catered accommodation, so I didn’t need things like pots and pans, general kitchen appliances because I didn’t need it. If you are in catered, you will probably just have a fridge, cupboard spaces, a sink and a microwave (that’s what I had, but mine was the cheapest out of all the options at my university). You may have a kettle and a toaster, but those aren’t always guaranteed, unless someone on your floor has brought one with them and is willing to share, or if someone from a previous year has left it behind for you. You will probably need to bring things such as bowls, plates, and cutlery because for me, I would supply my own breakfast, as it saved money. Plus, if you feel like ordering a take-away, then you are able to eat with a knife and fork!
- If you are in self-catered, it’s probably a good idea to get the basics, such as bowls, plates, cutlery, pots, pans, colanders, chopping boards, dishcloths, washing up liquid, maybe a washing up bowl (but that is optional), tupperware…
- Before you go to university, remember to get your meningitis jab. Simple, but it can save a life. Literally. This is probably the most important thing you can do before going to university, because Freshers are the most likely to be affected as you are meeting loads of new people all at once and it’s more likely to spread. Meningitis is something that affects the brain (I can’t remember all the details but you can read about it here.) SO MAKE SURE YOU DO IT.
- If you’re not a big drinker, you don’t have to drink. Alcohol isn’t going to be the only way to make friends, so don’t feel like you have to drink because everyone else is. Also, if you want to survive fresher’s week, it’s probably best you don’t drink every night anyway. Get to know your flat mates when you’re sober, have a movie night or something!
- Homesickness is very common, and even the people who seem to miss home the least will probably feel homesick, especially in the first couple of days. There is no shame in calling your family, whether it’s by phone, Skype, or even on Facebook and catching up, letting them know you’re okay. I would say that if you are more of a home person, then applying to a university as far away as possible is not a good idea. If you’re fairly close to home, then at least on the really bad days you can go home for the weekend. However, university is a time for new experiences, and meeting new people so try not to rely too much on home. As horrible as that may sound, the point of university (apart from getting your degree) is to have a great time, and that won’t happen if you spend all your time worrying, and less time getting out there and exploring your new surroundings.
- Budgeting is key. This is a tip for ALL university students, not just freshers! If you know you’re bad at keeping an eye on your money, then limit yourself to a certain amount per day. For my second year, I have prepared a “Budget Book”, which is basically just a notebook and my plan is to write down what I spend in a day, and see how much I have left over, or over spent and try and control what I spend. This is the cheaper option, but there are things online which you can get such as this weekly budget planner. It is a bit on the pricey side (in my opinion), hence why I have made my own version, but it gives you an idea on what you can do.
- Your overdraft is not free money. Try not to get into your overdraft, but if you do, try not to panic. As long as you don’t go too far into it, you should be okay. But this is probably a sign that you need to spend less, and possibly get a job (or two if you’ve already got one).
So those are just a few more tips! I hope this has helped any of your worries about starting university! As always, if you have any questions then feel free to leave a comment and I will try my best to help you out!