Nishall’s Blog: Getting ready to go to university

Lifestyle / Tue 25th Aug 2015 at 07:27am

Getting ready to go to University

Now that the summer is upon us, time is already running out before university starts. And during that time, there are tasks that need to undertake, before you move out. That list is built up of many things, such as:

1. Getting a checklist of things I need to remember
Writing this has meant having to prioritise, otherwise I will end up showing up far from home without the necessary things such as clean towels and a tooth brush etc. This list will be different for each of us, other than basic necessities, as each place of residence will inform you of the things you need to take.

2. Doing the reading and listening
If your college has provided you with a list of the work they would like you to show up having done in September, it is better that you try and acquire the said resources and do this work gradually over the summer so that you have some background knowledge of different aspects of the course so that many classes will not be too overwhelming.

3. Sorting through old things
This links closely with 1. Like I said there, you need to prioritise with the things you are taking. Bear in mind, you will have a small space in the shared kitchen and your own room, which is unlikely to be the same amount of space that you had at home purely to there being so many people. So use what time you have to sort through your old things and get rid of the things that you don’t need any more.

4. Be organised
All of the above are separate categories but are connected in that they need organising, structuring much like an essay plan. Being organised means you need to know the stages to each thing you intend to do: it is no good trying to pack all of your things without a suitcase, so the first thing that you need to do is make sure you get a suitcase. Such things might seem obvious, but it is surprising how rushing about doing so many things at once can get in the way of your usually logical thoughts

5. Get enough sleep and maintain a balanced diet
Stay as healthy as possible to keep your strength up – I think we are all going to need it! Not only is the work going to be much more difficult than it has been prior but it is also a new environment, one away from home, meaning that there is emotional preparation too. No matter how excited all of us are, moving away from home is something new that will take time to become accustomed to and as a result it is likely we are all going to feel a little overwhelmed, sad or nostalgic for our old places of education and for home. It is going to take a while to get used to the new situation, which is why it is much better to be prepared opposed to jumping in at the deep end

6. Budget management
This is something you are going to have to do all year, but the first few weeks (pre – fresher’s and fresher’s week itself) are probably going to be the most expensive out of all the weeks of the year, purely because there are so many activities set up for socialising that it is easy to get carried away and sign up for too much and then end up spending too much as a result. So try if possible to keep a budget – this will maybe limit you to how many events you can go to and what type of activities you can do, but your future self can only be grateful if you end up being able to save a little money which can later help out with things such as food supplies, or maybe pay for a train home at some stage. On that note, most universities offer deals (on several events together) or wrist bands for Fresher’s week, which will allow you to pay less and still be able to go to something, or allow you access to pretty much everything.

7. Student finance
In relation to your accommodation, the majority of this should be sorted out in advance (other than a definite move in day) And it is better if it is sorted out before you get there because that way, you will be less stressed out about the whole situation. There are different methods of paying for your accommodation which includes paying in instalments (whether it be 4 or 9) so think about how you are going to be managing your finance before you write down and inform the place of residence with this information.

8. Transport for getting there (on the day) / help
Make sure that you are able to manage alone before you arrange to actually go alone (if this is something that you want to do) This means both literally and in a sense of, is this something you want to do on your own? If you have a lot of boxes, suitcases (and so on) you will be probably struggle on your own so try to find someone who can go with you, such as a parent or a friend. And look for the best manner of transport to do this – carrying a lot of boxes on the train is probably not the best manner of getting to your new university. Opt not necessarily for the cheaper option this first time but for the most practical way.

9. Transport on a regular basis
If you need transport to your college/university on a regular basis, look at the offers for different transport and decide which is best for you. Many bus services offer week long offers or month long offers for different prices, so there is sure to be a bus service, or bus services, which get you relatively near to college and provide a reasonable offer in relation to money that will suit you. If the college isn’t too far from where you are living (e.g. halls of residence) then this is probably not that much of an issue (you can always walk) There are also options which keep you and the environment healthy – namely cycling, which lots of people are choosing to do at the moment. If you do choose to cycle, make sure that you keep your bicycle in reasonable shape and know the rules of roads etc – this will avoid trouble in the long run.

10. When to go home/ how much is this going to cost?
One of the biggest things that students want to think about before they live is how far away they are going and how this is going to affect not only where they are staying but how often it means that they can go home or meet up with their family. Again, bus tickets and train tickets usually have offers, if going home at the weekend is something you want to do. But bear in mind time also – is it worth travelling a long way home to stay for a few hours, only to have to travel twice as long back to university? Of course you will miss your family and friends, but you also have to be practical. If going home every weekend is not an option, you can always email, Skype, etc. You could maybe aim to go home at the half term or occasional holidays, this way you will have several weeks at home with your family before you have to travel back, making it much more worthwhile a journey, especially if being at home for a short time only makes you more home sick.

This list obviously does not cover everything, and something need to have a little more detail in their summaries, I hope that this has been useful in what preparation that you can do now, and may we all have the best of luck in uni. I’m sure the hard work we have put in is going to pay off!

Hope you’re all having a good summer!

Nishall Garala

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