Before you go to university
Here's a couple of things you'll need to do before you head off.
So you're off to uni - nice job, Fresher!
For most people, the new-found level of independence that university brings will be a whole new thing. There's plenty to think about before you set off - so we've gathered some important info for you to read through.
How do I prepare for moving into uni?
- First of all, make sure you have everything you'll need for uni - both for your halls and for your course. Check out our ultimate 'what to take to uni' list here for ideas, as well as our list of unknown essentials to pack.
- Check information from your uni about what you can and can't take to your accommodation (e.g. mini-fridges, kettles, etc)
- If you're worried about your stuff *ahem* 'accidentally' ending up in someone else's room, mark your valuables with UV security pens so you can identify what's yours if it goes walkabouts.
- Find other students in your flat or university accommodation by creating a thread in your specific university sub forum.
- Before you leave home, check your immunisation, especially for measles, mumps and meningitis. See your doctor at home to get any boosters or missing inoculations.
- Get your teeth checked and any work done before you arrive. The start of term isn't the best time to get a wisdom tooth removed...
- Likewise, if you're planning to play lots of sport, get a proper individual mouth-guard from your dentist. This takes time to get made, so it's best to plan ahead.
- Ladies - talk to your home doctor about contraception, especially if you're going to need repeat prescriptions for the pill or would like an IUD fitting.
- Have a look at these 11 things you must do before you head off for Freshers Week.
Managing your finances at university
- Don't wait until you get to university to open a bank account, just pop into your local branch after getting your confirmed place and going off to uni. This stops any delays and ensures you'll get your student loan into your account as quickly as possible when you start your course. Remember to tell the loan company about your new account details by changing your details online.
- Shop around for your bank account and remember to locate the nearest branch to your uni.
- Chat to other students about managing finances here.
- 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. Most books you will only read once. So, borrow them from your (home) local library to read over the summer and use your uni library once you get there.
- With this in mind, don't ask relatives for bookshop gift cards as 'going to uni' pressies - you'll never use them.
- Good places for discount or second hand books are Amazon, eBay, Abebooks, Alibris, Oxfam Online. Make sure you get the right 'edition'.
How to make the most of Freshers Week
- Most unis publish Freshers Week schedules on their websites or on the Students' Union website a few weeks before - check this out ahead of time so you can plan what you'd like to go to.
- There will be all sorts of activities for your course and department, plus introductory sessions for the library and IT, so try and find out when these are before you arrive so you can schedule them into your week.
- You'll likely have heard all about Freshers Fair - the big expo when clubs and societies get you to sign-up to things in exchange for a lot of freebies. It's definitely worth going to this, so you can see which activities interest you and ask any questions - plus you'll get 1000s of pens that will last you through the year.
- As for social activities, you'll be spoilt for choice! There will be everything from big end-of-week parties and club sessions to themed walks, cafe-crawls, bowling and cinema nights on offer. These are designed to help you get to know other students before classes start, but don't feel obliged to attend them all - pick two or three you're interested in so you don't burn yourself out.
- Worried about making friends? Here's some tips from the community to help put your mind at ease.