Are you starting university in a month’s time?
First of all, congratulations…it’s a very exciting period and I wish you the best of luck!
Being in the same position as you, I’d like to share some helpful advice and guidance on how to prepare for University.
1) Money, money, money…
Assuming that you have already applied for your tuition and maintenance loans via Student Finance England (SFE), it’ll be a good idea to look into student bank accounts. To apply, you generally need proof of your student status which may include your UCAS offer letter and as with all other bank accounts, you will need proof of address as well as ID.
The two links below have a plethora of information, including the best 2020 student bank accounts and further advice:
If you have not applied for your loans via SFE yet, do not panic! The official deadline has passed but you can still apply – it just means that you will receive your money a little later. Follow the steps listed on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance
2) Arrange your accommodation if you have not done so already
If you’re opting to stay in student accommodation, it’s best to have a look at your University’s website for the relevant information. Do make sure you make this a priority since most halls of residence are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
You may not be able visit the accommodation due to our current climate – however, there should be virtual accommodation tours available. Do not shy away from asking questions to the relevant staff members if need be.
You may be living in student halls for a year (or throughout the duration of your degree – depending on your University) so drop an email or phone the accommodation team for any enquiries! The following website may help you with your decision: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/applying-for-university/university-life/what-you-need-to-know-about-student-accommodation
Once you have sorted out where to stay, it’s important that you know what you need to take with you. Once again, it’s essential that you check your University’s website to see what will already be provided for you. Those who decide to live in self-catered accommodation may need to bring different items to those who stay in catered accommodation – so research is important!
I should emphasise that you most certainly DO NOT need to pack your whole house! There will be stores and shops available near your campus if not on campus, so only pack the essentials. Here is a website with a detailed checklist that you may want to have a look at: https://www.savethestudent.org/accommodation/what-to-take-to-university.html
3) Check for reading lists
If not emailed to you directly, you will be able to access a Reading List curated specifically for your degree. You don’t need to own every book listed, but you may benefit from reading those that you have an interest in to get a head start in your degree.
Do bear in mind that textbooks and other subject-specific books will be able to be borrowed from your University’s library or purchased for a cheaper price from students in the year above. So do not go crazy with ordering several different books.
4) Freshers’ Week
There’s no doubt that Freshers’ Week this year will be very different to those in previous years – but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be boring. Many universities have separate websites dedicated to their Student Unions. Here, you’ll be able to find a list of student societies and events.
Why don’t you make a list of the societies that you’re most looking forward to? The majority of student societies have social media pages, so now is the time to start following them to hear about Freshers’ events or even drop them a DM if you have any questions.
5) Enjoy it!
Do make sure to enjoy the preparation period as much as you can. You will only ever be a
Fresher once, so don’t try to stress or panic about the finer details.
The past few months have been difficult and have brought anxiety to many A-Level and IB students, but now is the time to look forward to the next and brand new chapter of our lives.
Good luck and all the best with your future endeavours.
It’s. Going. To. Be. Amazing!
Written by Sinem Ishlek