Quite naturally, coming to university is a big step for anyone; no matter how prepared you are or even think you are.
It’s a massive jump into an independent life away from everything you’ve known for your whole life up until this point.
Fear not though! I have prepared for some nuggets of information to help you out as you prepare to fly the nest and embark on your university adventure!
1. Make the most of your summer with your friends
The likelihood is that, like you, a lot of your friends will be going away to university as well. You’ll end up with your peers scattered up and down the country: I’ve got friends in Wolverhampton, Liverpool and Leicester to name but a few places!
So you’re obviously not going to see them anywhere near as much as you do while you’re all in one place. It’s a great opportunity to do some memorable stuff with your last summer together, so make sure you do and give each other a great send off. It makes it all the more special when you go to visit them wherever they are then!
2. At the same time, try and save some money
Making the most of your time usually constitutes one thing: spending money. It doesn’t have to, though, but there will be certain things that you decide you want to do – like going on holiday, days and nights out for example – that will put a dent in your funds. I’m not telling you not to do these things at all, because that would completely go against what I have said previously, but it’s a great idea to try and save some money up before you move out of home.
When you get to uni, you’ll be doing much of the same things with your new flat mates and course mates, so try and pull a few extra shifts at work or do some seasonal work painting fences or mowing lawns to ensure that you have enough to do all of these things before you get your first student loan payment.
3. Ensure that you’ve got all of the things you’re going to need to survive
This point is probably the most important one. There is nothing worse than getting to university and realising that you don’t have something that you really need, like a saucepan, or a clothes horse, or a duvet..
It’s useful to check with your halls of residence what they provide in the kitchen and bedrooms so you don’t buy something that’s already going to be there for you. Another good tip is to let your parents help you draw up a list of all of the things you’re going to need to buy because they’re wiser in terms of ‘the real world’ than you are, as much as it pains you to admit it. They will think of things that you would never have given a second’s thought to.
4. Don’t leave everything until the last minute!
It’s something you’ll hear time and time again throughout your life in various different circumstances, but it’s always a sound piece of advice. I left my packing until five minutes before I came back from home this Easter, and I left my iPod, sunglasses and Easter eggs at my dad’s house. When you pack up your stuff to move to university, you’re going to have a damn sight more than I had over Easter!
It makes it so much easier to pack things up as you go along, even if it means storing them in the attic or cluttering up your room with stuff like I did. Leaving it until it’s too late is a bad idea, because you probably won’t just be able to nip home and get whatever it is you’ve forgotten once you’re settled.
5. Try and introduce yourself to the people you’re going to be spending a lot of time with at uni
There are a lot of groups on social media for halls of residence and course specific ones, too. It’s a good idea to get yourself on these and meet some of the people who you are going to be studying and living with, as it can remove any awkwardness that may occur.
I remember chatting to a couple of my flat and course mates for weeks before I moved to Derby, and it was a massive help. It felt like I already knew at least a few people here and it was comforting to know that I wasn’t going to be totally alone! There’s obviously a lot of fun to be had making new friends once you arrive, but it’s also nice to give yourself a bit of a head-start.