Heading off to university marks an exciting chapter in your life. It’s an exciting time as you experience your first true taste of independence, but it can also be nerve-wracking as you move away from home for the first time.
University is all about learning new things, while getting to know yourself a little better too. With that being said, it doesn’t hurt to be a little prepared before you set off.
Take a look at our handy checklist to help you prepare for university life.
Student living essentials
What to take
The shopping list for university can feel endless. But there are some essentials you’ll need to help you settle in and adjust to life in your new place. Some of the main things to take with you include:
- Kitchen supplies (including plates, bowls, cutlery, glasses, mugs, chopping board, utensils, pots and pans, food storage).
- Electricals (Kettle, toaster, phone, laptop, printer, chargers, extension leads, headphones, speakers, USB storage).
- Bedroom items (Duvet and cover, pillows and cases, sheets, throws/blanket, cushions, coat hangers, laundry basket, fan, mirror, photo frames or a pin board, storage boxes or bags).
- Bathroom basics (Hand towel, bath towel, dressing gown, toothbrush, toothbrush holder, tweezers, razors, toiletries, shower mat, tweezers, scissors, first aid kit, medicines).
- Items for study (Notepads, pens, highlighters, folders, plastic pockets, ruler, stapler, paper clips, calculator, textbooks).
- Clothing (Take what you need for the season if you plan to go home between terms, otherwise take a selection to cover you for everything, day clothes, evening clothes, gym clothes, a selection of shoes, coats and jackets).
There will no doubt be other essentials on your list. Don’t panic if you forget something, you can always go shopping or order online.
A little cooking practice goes a long way
If you haven’t done much cooking for yourself before, now is a good time to start! Learning how to prepare some basic meals can help you stay fed and healthy while at university. Some simple university meal ideas include:
- Eggs (Scrambled, poached, fried, omelettes – however you prefer to eat them!)
- Stir fry
- Batch-cook classics (lasagne, cottage pie, chilli, curry)
- Pasta dishes
- Group-friendly dishes like fajitas.
Fast food, ready meals, fancy coffees etc. will rapidly eat up your whole budget. Learning how to cook and how to shop for ingredients will help you save money and impress your new friends.
Don’t forget the practical things
Your first few weeks at university will be a bit of a learning curve, but there are a few practical things you’ll need to remember:
- Make sure you clean up after yourself – you don’t want to annoy your new housemates by being the messy one.
- Stay on top of your laundry – set aside a day a week to get it done.
- Change your bedsheets and towels regularly.
- Keep your room clutter-free by making the most of storage and packing the things you don’t need away.
- Make sure you get contents insurance. This will cover you for loss, theft and even accidental damage for some items.
Get your finance in place
Whether you’ve got a student loan, bursaries, grants, or savings to finance your living costs, make sure you’ve got everything in place.
If you’re going to get a job while studying, start looking in advance – part-time jobs will be in high demand once fresher’s week starts.
Get a bank account in order
Get yourself a student bank account. Most high street banks offer special student accounts with great rates and incentives, so shop around to find a deal that’s right for you.
Learn how to budget and juggle your bills
Managing your own finances can be very stressful. It’s a good idea to set yourself up with a budget to help you manage all of your outgoings so you know exactly how much money you have leftover to save and to have fun with.
Make sure bills are split evenly with your housemates. A tool like Glide is perfect for bill splitting so that you only need to pay your share and not worry about everyone else.
Settling in during those first weeks
Find your bearings
Spend time getting to know your new home. From the area where your accommodation is to your University campus, it’s good to do some exploring, so you can find out where you need to be and avoid last-minute stresses during registration and your first lectures.
Get to know your housemates
You’ll meet all kinds of new people at university, starting with your housemates. Some top tips for getting to know your new housemates include:
- Put your name on your door so they know who you are.
- Help them move their belongings in.
- Offer to make them a drink or bring some snacks to share around.
- Invite them out for a drink.
- Start a group chat for you to all keep in touch.
- Ask them questions and get to know where they’re from and what they’re studying.
While it can be daunting to introduce yourself to new people, you’ll find it gets easier. You never know, the people you meet during those first few weeks could end up being friends for life!
Learn to find a balance
University is a place where you’ll enjoy all kinds of experiences. But it’s important to remember that you’re there to study as well as have fun. Finding a balance is important and will mean you get to juggle your studying and your social life to help you have the best uni experience.
Some tips to help you find the right balance include:
- Draw up a schedule to plot out lectures, study time, work shifts and other elements of your weekly routine.
- Try to do your work somewhere where you won’t be distracted, like the library. You’ll procrastinate less and be able to focus on your work.
- Study during the day in-between lectures and seminars. Your work will be done at a reasonable hour, freeing up your evenings and weekends for fun!
- Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep will help keep you active and energised so you can enjoy every moment of your university experience.
Being prepared for university will help you ease stresses or concerns you might have about leaving home and beginning your new chapter. Remember that the Benevolent Society of Blues is here to help you if you need it. Get in touch and see how we can help.