It’s that time of year again: The A Level results are out and those planning to go to university are looking ahead (perhaps nervously) to the new life that awaits them. Going to university is a big step forward. Whether you are 18 or 80, taking a degree is a challenge, albeit one that will open up many opportunities. Leaving home and moving to a new town to study is a big change, too. So how can you take some of the stress out of the situation? Be prepared Preparation is key.
Before you go to unit, make sure you open a bank account and that it is with a bank that has a branch near your college. That way, when you register at university your student loan can go straight into your account and you can access your funds quickly. Shop around for good deals on student bank accounts, but before you do, think about what you will actually need from your bank. Interest-free overdraft facilities may not be glamorous, but they can be very useful.
If you can get some money together between now and going to university, do so. Having a bit of cash behind you can be extremely helpful, especially if you find it difficult to get a part-time job when you start university, or your studies become too intense for you to do much paid work. Don’t forget that you will need a bit of cash in hand when you arrive for simple things like food and drink. If you don’t have a job now, look at alternative ways of making some money to take with you. For example, you can sell some old clothes for cash if you no longer wear them or get rid of things you no longer need at car boot sales or online auction sites.
What will you need? Another way to get prepared is by making a list of all the things you will need to take to university. Check with the university when it comes to things like electrical items: some have strict rules about what you can and cannot bring, others are very generous when it comes to supplying items on site. Don’t worry about taking food other than a quick snack to have when you arrive. University towns do have shops! Other things, like bedding, clothing and a certain amount of kitchen equipment, are essentials.
There are some other handy items that you might not have considered. A door wedge, for example, is a must-have. Firstly, it allows you to get in and out with all your boxes more easily and later, because having the door of your room constantly closed may shut you off from friendship opportunities (or just make you look grumpy).
A torch, alarm clock, extension leads, USB memory sticks and a supply of printer paper will also come in handy. Finally, if your mum hasn’t already packed it for you, don’t forget the loo roll.
Most importantly of all, recognize that it is completely natural for you to be feeling nervous at this stage: your fellow undergraduates will be too, although they may hide it well. Going to university is a life-enhancing experience and with a bit of preparation, you will be thoroughly enjoying life in no time.