You’re leaving for university in a month… what do you need?
By Pamela Head,
You’ve just got your results, had your place confirmed and celebrated finally achieving that lifelong goal – congratulations! But where do you start now you’ve got the very real prospect of moving away from home for the first time in your life? Look no further…
- Check on your accommodation. If you applied before the deadline, do a quick search on when they usually start giving out the accommodation allocations so you know when to expect to hear from them. If you got your place through Clearing, then you’ll need to check what your university’s policy is on giving accommodation out. If they guarantee housing for you, then make sure you’ve applied and set the ball rolling on that. If not, then a contingency plan is a good idea so you’re not homeless and panicking with one week to go.
- Now you’ve had your place confirmed, it’s time to start checking out some Facebook groups. Most universities have their own page, as well as a students' union page, accommodation pages and pages for new students to be able to meet each other before moving in. This is a good way to keep on top of what events your university will be running during the first few weeks, as well as a good opportunity for you to be able to get chatting to some of the students you’ll potentially be living and studying with.
- Some universities require you to enroll before you move down for registration and submit a photograph for your student I.D. You may also be able to claim your university email account and start getting emails in the run up to moving in, so you can keep on top of any news or information that’ll be useful for you. Some universities require you to enroll at a local GP too, so if you happen to catch Freshers' flu, you’ll have somewhere to go for help!
- Check your student finance letters. If you didn’t get into your firm university choice and instead got a place through Clearing, you’ll need to update the details for student finance so they’ll be able to pay your loan. This may take six to eight weeks to process; the quicker you get this done, the better.
- If you haven’t got your own bank account, now is the time you’ll need to open one. Shop around and see what’s on offer for students; they’ll all be offering incentives in order to get you to join them, whether it be a large overdraft or student discounts. Pick the one that best suits you.
- Have a search online and see if your course has a reading list available. Some subjects require you to do some preliminary reading before you arrive and start classes, so the earlier you start this, the less stressed you’ll be and the more you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your first week.
By getting prepared early and sorting out the boring-but-necessary things, you’ll make life a lot easier for yourself in the long run and be able to enjoy the university life free of hassle.