With the new term in sight, countless Freshers’ up and down the country will be ready in wait for that eagerly anticipated ‘Move-In day.’ Having survived GCSEs, battled through A-Levels, and arguably the most frustrating of all, UCAS, you can rest assured an unforgettable time awaits. Remember everybody is in the same boat as you whilst they abandon ship from their cosy homes, so there is nothing to fret over. (Apart from your Freshers’ outfits, of course.)
Now I have experienced first hand all the highs and lows that university has to offer, I decided to write a post dedicated to what I wish I had known prior to this whirlwind of adventure, so take note guys!
- Stock up on bulky essentials beforehandThis may sound dull, but food is pretty important stuff! If I was preparing to become a Fresher again, (I wish) undoubtedly I would ensure I was better equipped regarding basic food produce, such as pasta, cereals, heavy drinks and tinned goods. Chances are shopping with the assistance of your parents’ vehicles (or if you’re lucky- your own) is much easier, even if this means a quick supermarket dash on route to the big move. Essentially, this results in dreaded treks to and from the supermarket with ridiculously heavy bags, that might just break at any moment, *wince* kept to a bare minimum.
By covering the basics beforehand with food and drinks that have a decent life span, you only have to concentrate on stocking up on fresh produce to bulk up your meals, which all in all, means more hours to dedicate to really critical activities like studying. (Partying.)
- Buy plenty of soft furnishings.If your student accommodation bedroom is anything similar to mine, it will resemble a dull and uninspiring confine, complete with stark breeze-block walls and a deep green carpet that has certainly seen better days.
Needless to say, your prison cell of a room will definitely require a little tender love and care, and nothing makes your room feel more welcoming than a good scattering of cushions, blankets and decorative items. Think photo-frames, fairy lights, storage boxes, posters, stationary, lamps etc. Essentially, just indulge in your inner interior designer and you cannot go wrong!
- Be organised with financial paperwork.There is no mistaking the fact paperwork is tirelessly boring, and if you’re like me and have always opted to discard any bank statements/important letters to one side, eradicate this bad habit immediately! (You will thank me later!) Starting from today, get organised with any previous correspondence from Student Finance so that during the forthcoming year you know exactly when you will receive your precious money, and how much you are due to be deposited.
This way, you can easily calculate precisely how much you will have each and every week, and fingers
crossed, this should keep you at the top of your financial game. Nobody relishes those phone calls home to their parents, “Mum, I’ve run out of money…”
- Do a little research beforehand into the areaNaturally, moving to university coincides with living in an entirely new environment, so it’s likely you’ll be absolutely clueless regarding your surroundings. Whilst this does add to the excitement to some extent, you can feel a bit like a dazed rabbit blinking in the headlights.
Once you have your place confirmed, Google Map where your accommodation will be based in relation to the town/city so that you can vaguely familiarise yourself. See what the area has to offer regarding shopping, leisure, social and sporting amenities so that you aren’t totally aimlessly wandering around when you take that first heroic step beyond the campus confines.
- Have fun.At the risk of sounding blindingly obvious, the key thing to remember whilst at university is that fun will come knocking at your door regularly, so greet it with arms wide open!
This does not necessarily solely take the form of spontaneous nights out (although they’re great) but opportunities to really get your teeth into, such as the various university societies that often expand well beyond their sporting stereotype. Think baking, animation, fashion etc. The possibilities are endless, so check them out! Though it is paramount you get your head down and nab that degree with every inch of motivation you can muster, additionally uni presents an invaluable opportunity to make irreplaceable friends, gain unforgettable experiences and build a memory that’ll last a lifetime, so go make it a gooden!