For a life-changing few years!
And you’re probably pretty damn scared or excited right now. I completely feel you, three years ago (!!) I was in your exact same position. I was doing a BTEC in college so at this point, everything for university was confirmed and I was one hundred percent definitely heading off to Brighton in September, moving out of my family home, living on my own in a brand new city a good hour and a half away and trying to function like a normal adult without my parents being around. I was petrified, excited, hesitant and ready all at once.
This time of year can be increadibly overwhelming if you’re heading off too in September; it feels like there’s around 59384 things to do and cram all before your move-in date so today, I thought I would try and simplify everything for you, even just a little bit, with a few tips and tricks to help you before you start to pack all your belongings in the car and start gathering all those important acceptance letters and university maps.
I’ve now added a university category tab on my navigation bar so you can read and have a little look at all the university posts I’ve written. So far, there is only this one but over the next two months there will be a university-related post a week, a series, if you will! I’m really excited to share my tips and experiences with you but do let me know if there’s anything you would love to see/read/know!
Get Writing Those Lists
Of things you need to take, reading lists if there are any, modules… everything and anything really. I brought a A4 notepad and filled it with lists of everything and then I was able to then tick off everything as I brought it which allowed me to clearly see what items I had, what bits and bobs I still needed to buy, where the items are and finally, if I had packed them or not. This made life so much easier and really helped to keep everything organised. Take the notebook with you when you go shopping, categorise your items into sub-sections, use Word documents; however you choice to do it, having a list is completely valuable and will help you big time, promise! The Student Room (i.e your holy grail – bookmark this) had a brilliant guide on what you should be packing up with you when you go!
Start Learning To Cook
If you’re used to family dinners where you don’t have to cook, it might be completely beneficial to start getting those all important lessons now. Unless you’ve got catered halls, you’ll be cooking for yourself every night (or every few) so it’s good idea to get some solid meal recipes down that aren’t just beans on toast and ham and cheese toasties. Try and learn a good balance; healthy meals to keep your immune system happy, meals you can easily freeze and re-heat and meals that can be made using cheap ingredients. When you arrive at university, you’ll be adjusting to a brand new environment so it’s likely you won’t have the energy or time to be following recipe books, atleast for a little while. Student Recipes or the student section on BBC Good Food is two great places to spark up inspiration.
Use The Power of Social Media
There’ll be hundreds of people starting at your chosen University alongside you in September and it might be a good idea to start finding some of them before you go. It might calm you down to virtually meet people who are also in the same boat as you and it’s the perfect opportunity to chat about your nerves/excitement. Try searching for your university on Twitter, perhaps using ‘UniversistyName Freshers‘ to see if anyone else is Tweeting or see if your university has a Freshers Facebook page you can join and get chatting to, some specific courses will even have their own page, I know mine did!
Get An Idea of Your Budget
Around about now you should be applying for your Student Finance or, if you’ve already done it, you’ll perhaps have an idea of how much loan you’re going to be receiving. It’s a good idea to now work out how much you’ll have each term, how much you’ll need for rent, bills, food and then work out how much you’ll have left for socialising, personal items, etc. Once you’ve managed to work all this out (it’s less overwhelming than it sounds, promise), you should then start to work out a monthly or weekly budget, this will give you an idea of how much you can spend on certain items, what you need to prioritise and whether you’ll need to search for a job or not. It’s super easy to get carried away once you’re actually at university with money, so it’s a good idea to keep in mind how much you can realistically spend.
Visit Friends and Family
Again, life goes so fast once you’ve started university, to the point the Christmas holidays feel as if they’re the week after Freshers. You’ll be crazy busy and distracted so you might find it pretty hard to keep in touch with friends and even family back home. So, nows your chance to try and make plans with all your loved ones; friends who might also be moving away, family you’ll won’t be seeing as often before life turns around. And if you are nervous about everything, this will keep you nice and busy surrounded by your favourite people.
These are just a few tips to hopefully help you out on this really exciting journey you’re about to take, but, just remember, the most important thing is to simply breathe and try your hardest to take it step by step. This is the first post of my university series, there’ll be a new post every week up until October, so if there is anything you want me to talk about, please feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me! If you want someone to simply talk to to, you can also always email me, whatever you fancy!