We all know that starting university can be an exciting, yet daunting experience. My biggest piece of advice to anybody is to try not to worry, as many people describe university as the best few years of their lives – and nothing at all to be anxious about. Here I’ve put together a list of 8 tips to help prepare you for starting university, and hopefully they will ease any worries that you may have.
1. Use social media to find your new flat mates and course mates
Getting to know your flat mates before moving in can make the whole experience a little less daunting, and it adds to the excitement before you arrive, as you’ll be eager to finally meet them in person. The same goes for your course mates too. If you have already spoken to a few people who will be in your lectures, you can arrange to meet them before the first one – making it all a little less scary.
2. Come prepared
Stock up on the essential stationery to make organising yourself at university easier. I’d recommend buying a few notebooks, post-it notes, lots of pens and highlighters, and clip folders for each of your modules. Also, having sticky tabs to mark important pages in textbooks saves time, and prevents having to write in the books (meaning you can sell them after you’ve finished with them).
3. Purchase your textbooks
Find out if your course has a list of textbooks that you will need, and if so, look to buy them second-hand to save money. It’s a good idea to buy these before you arrive, as when you get to university you may be tempted to spend your money on other things – but textbooks are important! Websites such as eBay and Gumtree are always a good place to look. Students in the year above you will also probably be selling their old textbooks, so take a look on your course’s Facebook page to see if anybody is advertising theirs.
4. Get organised
Arrange your laptop and/or online storage space into folders, for example arranging these into semesters and modules. This makes things a lot easier to find, and you’ll always know where to save work.
5. Invest in a diary
Carrying a diary is super handy to make note of deadlines, important meetings and other dates that you need to remember. If you prefer, you could always use the calendar on your smartphone to keep track of things and set reminders.
6. Get cooking
Before moving away to university, practice making some quick, cheap and tasty meals at home. Experiment with different recipes, and make the most of your parents’ assistance before you have to go it alone. By having a list of a few tasty meals that you’re an expert at making, you’ll be less likely to spend lots of money on takeaways, and you’ll be healthier too.
Calculating a rough budget of how much money you’ll have to spend for each week of your first semester can really help you to prepare for university. It means that you know how much money you will have to treat yourself, and you’ll be much less likely to spend all of your money in one go, in your first week!
8. Decorate your room
Although some halls of residence can have rules about how you can personalise your room, most will still have a designated area where you can put up posters or photos, so make sure you have lots to bring. As well as this, investing in some simple fairy lights, picture frames and plants can make your room feel a lot more homely.
This may seem a bit overwhelming but it’s important not to worry too much. Although you’re at university to study and get a degree, it’s important to have fun, make friends and enjoy yourself too! I hope some of these tips help you to do that when you eventually arrive.