Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Preparing for university: what you need to know

moving away to university

Moving away from home and advancing into higher education can be stressful and overwhelming. If you have career goals and ambition, taking the natural step and going to university can help you gain the qualifications you need to work in your chosen profession.

If university is just around the corner, here are some tips on how to get the most out of your experience and keep your physical and mental wellbeing in check.

Find the right university

The process of finding the right university can be time consuming and tiring. Whether you’re dead set on what you want to study, or you need a little help, there are dozens of establishments dotted across the country to pick from. When you factor in the amount of time, money, and effort you will put into your course, it’s vital that you make the right decision. You might want to check out access courses first. Start your undergraduate degree journey today by comparing a range of university providers, rankings, and student reviews to help you find the right one.

Sort out your finances

Many students have to live on a tight budget to see them throughout the year. If you’re about to live away from home for the first time, fending for yourself and being in control of your finances can be daunting. To ensure you don’t run out of funds and have to call the bank of Mum and Dad, there are lots of savvy finance tips that you can take on board. Whether it’s by shopping at discounted supermarkets, picking the cheapest accommodation, or getting a part-time job, having an emergency fund behind you is key. You should also apply for student finance so you can work out how much you’re entitled to and whether they can cover the full cost of your tuition.

Learn to cook

If you’ve been lucky enough to have had home cooking all your life, going it alone and having to make your own meals from scratch can be scary. Instead of relying on takeaways to see you through, learning how to cook in bulk can be a great way to save money during your time as a university student. Too many takeaways aren’t good for your health or student budget, so getting to grips with the basics of cooking is important. No one is saying you must be an excellent cook, but as long as you stay persistent and try out different dishes, you will begin to enhance your cooking skills.

Make sure you’re organised

Being organised and in control from the beginning of university is crucial. Before heading on your new adventure, it’s important that everything is sorted with your accommodation and finances. While it may not be much fun sorting these things out, you will be thankful in the long run. You may need to purchase specialist textbooks and equipment for your studies too, so make sure that you bring a laptop, pens, and a notepad. With coursework comes deadlines, so it’s important that you possess time management skills that will take you far in the working world.

Get ahead with your reading

No matter what course you choose, it’s likely that there will be reading involved. If you study a text-based subject like Law or English, you need to be prepared for the dozens of textbooks you will be required to read. If your university has emailed you a list of reading materials that will be covered in your first semester, getting a head start and starting your reading early can help you feel more confident once your course begins. Reading in advance will also give you a better indication of what your course entails.

Get packing

If you’re moving away for university, making your new space a home away from home can make all the difference. Although it may take some time to get settled in your new accommodation, making your bedroom feel homely can help reduce stress levels. For those who have been lucky enough to live in a spacious bedroom, you may not have the same luxury in your halls, so it’s important that you pack the essentials (rather than your whole room!). Sorting out the essentials first, such as your clothing and electrical items is best. To remind you of your loved ones, you may want to bring sentimental items such as photo frames and cards.

Stay social

Being in a new environment and around strangers can be overwhelming at first, however, to get the most out of your university experience, putting yourself out there and being social is key. You need to remember that everyone will be in the same boat as you, so taking yourself out of your comfort zone and attending events that your university has put on can be a great opportunity to network. It’s just as important to stay social with your friends and family back home, so having regular calls and interactions can be a great way to let off steam and help keep you on track with your course.

Embarking on this new chapter in your life should be something to be excited about, rather than fear. Going to university can be a great opportunity to expand your knowledge, meet people from all walks of life, and gain a new perspective on life. The unknown can be scary, so taking all the advice above into account can help make your university experience one to remember.

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