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Plan Ahead To Get Ahead – Preparing For Life At University

by Jessica Amey

Making the decision to go university is a big one and one that I don’t believe should be taken lightly. I think a lot of teenagers usually get excited about the prospect of moving out of home for the first time and having the freedom that comes with it but I personally feel like unless you have a real end goal in sight such as the desire to have a career in a profession that needs a degree then it might not be worth it. So many people go now and I think it’s important to know there are other options out there, university isn’t for everyone and I will definitely be letting my kids know that so they make a decision that is right for them.

If you have decided that university is for you then you might be a little confused over what you need to plan for and what to expect.

If you have attended mainstream school and college then university might be a bit of a shock as the learning styles are very different. Your lecturers are there to help you but they’re no longer there to tell you everything you need to do. Your education is now in your hands entirely. It sounds fabulous, but it can be a bit overwhelming when you are used to things being done differently. Independent living also takes some planning, especially if you are used to living at home and having lots of things done for you.

Preparing To Move Out And Move In
If you are staying on campus, check the rules on what you can and can’t take. A mini fridge for your room might be useful, but there may be rules against it.
It also makes sense to mark all of your valuables with UV pens for ease of identification should anything be misplaced or stolen.

Look at what accommodation you will require and what best suits your location and your budget. Urbanest is a fantastic facility if you are looking for digs in London, for example.

Managing Your Money
You want to make sure you have your own bank account well before you start at Uni. If you don’t have one yet then go to your home town’s local branch once you know where you are going to study as this will ensure you receive your student loan into your account as soon as possible, once you start your course. Choose a bank with a local branch to where you will be studying.

Think About Eating
If you haven’t done much cooking before then you might want to learn how to cook a few basic meals so you don’t end up eating out or living of junk. Easy things like pasta or stir fry can be turned into healthy meals so as long as you have a few recipes up your sleeve then you can make do on those!

Make Your Health A Priority
If you have injections then it might be worth checking they are up to date, there are lots of new bugs that will be going around at university so you want to protect yourself as much as possible from catching them. Also taking vitamins and natural products to boost your immune system might be a good idea. It may be worth speaking to your doctor about contraception if you need prescriptions to cover you during term time.

Fun At Fresher’s
Most universities will publish fresher’s schedules either on their websites or SU site. Fresher’s Fair is useful as you can see what clubs or societies are available to your interests, as well as handing over lots of freebies to you so even if you are unsure it is worth attending for those alone. There will also be a big social side to the week, parties, social gatherings such as bowling, all with you getting to know your fellow students in mind.

Read Right
You’ll most like receive information about reading lists in your welcome pack once your uni place is confirmed after results day. Remember, even if it’s on the reading list, you don’t necessarily need to buy it as it’s likely you will read it once for reference and then it will sit around gathering dust. Instead, consider borrowing them from your local library for summer reading before you start in September, then join your university library on arrival.

Be wise, be organised and have fun.

‘Contributed Post’

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