The first week at university can be daunting. Maybe it’s the first time away from home, leaving friends behind and worst of all you’ll have learn to work the washing machine, shop at Aldi and buy a cookery book.
Scary stuff. Well, not really and in no time at all you’ll be having a great time: Meeting new people, bingeing on bogof booze, waking up where you shouldn’t have and forgetting to text Mum and Dad.
Then, after the sucker-punch of Freshers’ Week, reality kicks in. How did I get here. Why did I come to this place and how the hell, after throwing up, laying poleaxed in a darkened room until 3pm and living on a diet of Dominos Pizza and Red Bull am I going to find the brain cells to study.
Every year's the same, but rest assured students do survive university and in three years time you’ll be walking on that stage picking up your degree and looking back at the best three years of your life. Here’s ten things to help you on your way:
1. Make sure you have a bank account sorted before you get to university. Most high street banks have their own student bank account, but shop around to get the best deals on overdrafts and interest on your money.
2. Has the Student Loan Company got everything they need to pay in your cash on time? Delays are quite common, so keep onto them.
3. It’s also a good idea to budget for the things you need to spend and know exactly how much money you have coming in.
4. Insure your stuff. A student could easily have £2,000 worth of personal possessions, it’s not cheap, but replacing all your electricals might wipe you out completely, so weigh up the cost of insurance carefully.
5. First year undergraduates normally live in halls of residence, but some will choose to live outside the university campus. Make sure this is organised well advanced and your lease checked by a professional to avoid any nasty surprises when you arrive.
6. If you leaving your home town you need to register with a new Doctor and Dentist. The process can take time and free NHS dentists are few and far between these days, so get on with this straight away.
7. There is help from the NHS helpline too, where you can get student health tips for students and can talk someone about your problem if you need to.
Key University and Fun Freshers Fair events
8. Keep a note of when you need to register with your university. At these events there is usually some great free stuff, as well as important leaflets and information to help. The student union will be there too who are there to support students while you are at university.
Make a note of the date you can meet your tutor, get a tour of the campus and don’t forget to find out where the nearest supermarket is.
9. Your university will probably be putting on club nights for you with some boasting big DJ names and bands. You may well need to book tickets in advance for these, so be quick if you don’t want to miss out.
There will also be a chance during Freshers week to sign-up to clubs and societies which is great place to meet people and make new friends.
Don’t miss your first lectures.
10. Let’s face it, getting back to work will be a bit of a shock after partying all night for a week, but you’ll soon get into the swing of things. Unlike in further education no one can make you attend lectures, but if you want to get the most out of university there is a proven link between turning up to lectures and getting a good degree.