So, August 10th has been and gone, you have now had time to process your A Level results and your uni offers. It has likely been an exciting week, maybe even a nervous one at the same time. This is completely normal.
I remember how it felt for me, I could finally push aside the nerves that had been building in me every day leading up to results day and my future life in academics. Then results day came, and it was official, I was going to uni! There were plenty of celebrations, then the reality set in, I had to get ready for the next big chapter of my life.
This may seem daunting; you have to suddenly prepare for moving your life elsewhere with people you may not know. However, it is best to try to stay on top of the situation, so you feel like you have control over this huge step you are about to take.
Here are a few tips for the month leading up to uni.
1) First thing is first, make a list in advance of everything you need.
One of the best ways to do this is to do multiple lists for different rooms: bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, studying.
Making a list in advance will mean you can add to the list if you find you have forgotten anything important like bedding or your ID.
My biggest piece of packing advice is to bring an extension lead with you, there are never enough plug sockets in your room and this will be essential but is often overlooked. Also, any photos you may have of your friends and family to prevent feeling homesick.
2) Next, see if your uni needs anything more from you.
There could be a few unfinished forms, information about where you will be residing for your first year of studying.
At this point there probably will be minimal details like this to finish off but it is always best to check in case you have missed something important!
3) Check online to see if your course or halls have a community Facebook page etc.
Usually, students will create these kinds of pages so you can get to know one another in advance before the intimidating first day. The pages for the halls that you are staying in will also mean you get to find out who will be your neighbours, which is very exciting.
I was unaware of these pages when I started and was a bit disappointed that I hadn’t been able to get to know my peers beforehand. Though, speaking from experience, it will not hinder your time there if you cannot find one relevant to your course/halls.
4) Buy a 16-25 Railcard!
I can’t stress this enough, for £30 a year (or £70 for 3 years) you will save a lot more on travelling to and from uni over your time studying.
Every time you use your railcard you will be saving a third off your journey. 3 trips to and from London a year and the card has pretty much paid for itself! It is definitely a good investment for students, especially if you travel home a lot or want to go see your school friends who could now be all over the country.
Some banks even offer new student accounts a free 4 year railcard!
5) Learn a few basic meals...
Buying a student cookbook might be good for some people but I knew very few people during my time at university who ever actually opened their copy.
I found that the best way to start off with cooking for yourself is to learn how to cook some of your favourites before going to uni where you will no longer have your family around you for quick tips… Though I did definitely have to call my mum up on a few occasions to double check certain recipes.
This way in your first few weeks at uni you will not have to be overwhelmed and trying to settle in, make friends, and also figure out how you will feed yourself more than frozen pizzas for the next three years.
6) Get your books ready- start reading in advance.
Getting your books in advance is the easy part.
I know that the idea of spending the last month of summer and free time getting ahead on your reading may not sound very ideal right now… However, in the future you will be extremely grateful for your previous decisions.
This is especially great to do if your course is heavily booked based, like a literature degree. There will be constant reading for three years and being ahead with it will never be a bad idea.
7) Reserve time to have fun and relax before you have to head off.
I’m aware I just advised getting ahead on uni reading beforehand, but this shouldn’t be how you spend all your time.
This is your last little piece of summer, make the most of it! Spend time with those close to you, do things you want to do whilst you are around them and have the free time. When you are at uni you will likely miss these little moments, so make the most of it now whilst you have the chance!