Going to university is a great way to meet new people, enjoy new experiences, and expand your knowledge and skillset. If you’ve decided that university is the right option for you, preparing to start a new phase in your life should be something to look forward to, rather than dread. To ensure you’ve made the right decision, here are eight things to do before starting university.
Find the Right Place of Study
First and foremost, it’s crucial that you pick the right university and degree. As you will be spending three years or longer on your course, the last thing you want is to regret your decision from the moment you start. There are hundreds of universities in UK, so try this link when searching to help you find the right establishment. The University Compare website does the hard work for you, helping you to compare establishments up and down the country. When on their website, you can research the average entry tariff and the type of salary you can expect to receive once you have graduated.
Arrange Your Accommodation
Once you have decided on what you want to study and where, the next step you need to take is to find accommodation. First year students tend to stay in halls which are protected by the university and a great opportunity to meet other students. There are options to privately rent or choose off-campus university accommodation which may be better suited to you. It’s important that you find accommodation that you feel comfortable in during your time as a student, so make sure to look into the facilities and amenities on offer so you can be confident with your final decision.
Sort Out Your Finances
Before fresher’s week comes around, you will need to get your finances in order. While this may not seem like the most exciting task, it’s one of the most important. To start, you should set up a student bank account which will help you better control your finances. Most major banks will lure students in with special incentives, such as a National Express coach card, or good overdraft facilities. Be warned, there are daily charges that you may need to make should you enter your overdraft, so always read the small print! You should also make an application for student finance, which can give you an idea of how much funding you could receive.
Decide What to Take
It’s important that you research into what is provided at your accommodation, so you know what to bring with you. If you are taking electrical items like your laptop to university, it’s wise to look into insuring them. Many students move hundreds of miles away from home, so it’s only natural that you may want to bring lots of items that remind you of home. The essentials should be top of the list, so it’s best to create a checklist to ensure nothing important is left behind.
Organise a Railcard
Obtaining a 16-25 railcard can be a great way to save money on transport during your time as a student. If you need to commute to get to class, you will save 1/3 on your train fare, which could save you tons of cash that you can use for other things. The card will cost you £30 per year and you will reap the benefits immediately. Taking a car to university may not be the wisest option, especially if you have public transport at your fingertips, so if you’re moving to a big city, it’s recommended to leave your car at home.
There are lots of universities who put their reading lists on their online portal a couple of weeks in advance of the course starting. Before you head to university, it’s advised to get reading so you can get a better idea on what to expect from your workload. Having a head start will boost your confidence and ensure you’re well prepared. Don’t worry about reading every book that is on the list, instead, identify the core texts and purchase these.
Arrange a Health Check
Before you leave home and head off to university, it’s best to arrange a health check with your doctor to ensure you’re in the best health possible. Your mental and physical health should be your number one priority, especially as a student, so sorting out any ailments beforehand will help make the move as stress free as possible. To get the most out of your degree, it’s important that you follow a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, and put your degree in a higher regard over nights out!
Spend Time with Family and Friends
Saying goodbye to your loved ones and starting a new chapter in your life can be daunting and overwhelming. Before you head out on your adventure, try and spend as much time with your family and friends as possible. While there are tons of exciting things you will be doing at the start of your course, homesickness is normal and may kick in once you have settled. Thanks to technology, there are all sorts of ways to keep in touch with your family and friends, such as via FaceTime and Skype.
Whether you’ve decided to study close to home, or venture further afield, the prospect of going to university and starting a new phase in life should be something exciting to look forward to. There is a lot to sort out before starting your degree, so creating a checklist and knowing what needs to be done and when can help reduce stress levels and ensure you get the most out of the university experience.