Updated: Aug 4
10 Things You Should Do to Prepare for University This Month
Are you anxiously awaiting your exam results which will determine whether you have the grades you need to get into your first-choice university?
The next few weeks might feel like an emotional rollercoaster for you while you wait, but instead of waiting around nervously, you could be actively preparing for your university start.
Assuming you have already applied for accommodation directly to the university a while back, we will skip over the part about finding student housing. However, you can read more here about How to Find Student Accommodation on a Budget.
We have 10 recommended steps to take this summer to prepare for your transition to university:
Step 1: Get organized
From High School to Uni answers all your questions about preparing for university!
First things first: order a copy of the “From High School to Uni” guide – a must-read for all students heading to university. Without this step-by-step guide, you will undoubtedly forget to pack essential items, be unprepared with your paperwork, and be stressed on arrival day, whereas if you follow our A-Z advice, you will be packed, ready to move into University Halls, feeling fully prepared and able to quickly unpack and start your adventure.
Step 2: Get shopping
We have prepared for you the essentials that every Uni student needs.
Start preparing the items you will want to pack and take with you, but be efficient - order items online that cannot be packed and that you can have delivered directly to your dorm / hall of residence. Check out our specific and thematic shopping lists in Amazon to help get you started:
Home Office (Study workspace)
These shopping lists contain the essential items you will need, as well as some optional and practical items to make your room more comfortable.
Step 3: Get packing
Access the best packing checklists, tools and tips to help you make the transition to university or professional life
Trust me when I say that the packing checklists in our Member Resources are the bomb! Tried and tested over the past 5 years in three different countries with scores of students, the items on our comprehensive packing checklists are EXACTLY what you will need to start life on campus and make your student room feel like home. We’ve done the work for you, so you don’t have to! Just subscribe to Member Resources today, download all the packing checklists (and more!) and start packing and getting ready.
Step 4: Get budgeting
Why is a budget necessary for university?
Managing your finances is one part of university that many students struggle with. Planning a budget and managing your finances is a crucial aspect of university life to keep your spending under control, prevent excessive spending habits, and help you calculate exactly how much you need each month for rent, food, utilities, tuition fees and transport.
Have you prepared your budget yet? Requested a student loan? Do you know how to budget? We have done the work for you! Take our free budgeting basics for students course online and learn how to create your own budget plan. Our Member Resources subscription includes an interactive budgeting tool to help you plan your income and expenses and manage your money carefully. By developing good budgeting habits right from the start, you will be better equipped (and less stressed!) to manage your finances throughout your time at university.
Step 5: Get cooking:
Is it necessary to learn to cook at university?
Cooking is a basic life skill! And one that university students usually become quite adept at, after a few inevitable mistakes! If you don't already know how to cook a few dishes, start learning now at home so that you don’t end up starving, malnourished, or blowing your budget by buying ready-made meals or ordering take-out food in your first month. By cooking your own meals, you are more likely to eat healthy unprocessed food, save money, improve your knowledge of nutrition and food groups, and - most importantly - it can help you avoid the inevitable "Freshers weight gain" and/or bad skin by choosing healthy options.
We have curated recipe books for students with zero cooking skills with easy recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as desserts and smoothies for students on a budget! All three books are INCLUDED in our Member Resources subscription, along with an innovative educational meal planning tool and shopping list to help you plan your meals.
Step 6: Get cleaning:
Do I have to clean my own room at university?
On campus, you’ll find that if you don’t pick up or clean up after yourself, no-one else will! If you don’t already know how to clean the kitchen (oven, microwave, fridge, clogged sink, defrost a freezer), a bathroom, vacuum, scrub a shower, etc. START LEARNING NOW!
Remember that a room full of dust and bacteria is bad for your health, especially if you suffer from asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems. University campus staff are required to carry out regular spot checks, and you could be warned or even fined if your accommodation does not meet minimum hygiene standards.
Step 7: Get washing
How do you do laundry at university?
Another essential life skill to learn before you leave home - doing your own laundry! Do you know how to make and strip your bed, how to separate the colours from the whites before washing your clothes, and how to read washing labels so you don't end up shrinking a knitted sweater in the tumble dryer? We have a free laundry guide to help you understand the basic symbols found on clothes, and a laundry care video included in Member Resources.
Step 8: Get working
Get a summer job before you start university
If you have been doing part-time jobs, babysitting, or doing online side hustles to save money for college – well done! If not, it’s not too late to start now! Managing your expenses on a tight budget will be tough and every penny will help, particularly if you want to have a social life while you study.
Getting some work experience before you go to university is extremely beneficial. Not only will getting paid for a summer job help you contribute to your college fund (and social life!), but you will also gain valuable work experience that will look good on your CV when you start looking for a job. A part-time job also helps develop important skills such as time management, responsibility, customer service, and financial independence.
Step 9: Get connected
Get in touch with other students before you start university
Look up your course name and reference number on social media to contact your future classmates and flat mates before you arrive on campus. You can share your preparation plans, discuss who should bring a toaster and who should bring a kettle (to avoid everyone arriving with the same or similar equipment). Other students may be better informed and can help you discover valuable information in advance that could help you settle in. At the very least, you will start life on campus knowing a few people before you arrive.
Step 10: Get prepared
Plan for emergencies
Establish a protocol with your parents about what to do if you run out of money, get homesick, have any health problems, need advice on how to cook, or just need a reassuring phone call home.
If you have health issues that might require emergency treatment or care at university, prepare and educate your house mates on what to do in case of a problem. Tell them where to find your epi-pen in case of an allergic reaction, what to do in case of an insulin spike, etc. Download our Emergency Guide, available in Member Resources.
It's a good idea to set up a regular check-in time to call, text or Facetime with your family to make sure everyone is home when you want to talk. And remember, this is a transition for your parents too - they need to know you are safe and well - so don't leave it too long in between calls and keep them updated!
Remember that university is not just about studying, it is also about having fun, making new friends, and 'adulting'!
Enjoy the summer, and look forward to the amazing experience ahead of you.
Good luck as you prepare for your new life on campus!
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