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Your application has been accepted, you received the results you needed and now you’ve gained a place on your course - the wait is over! You are officially beginning a new chapter.
To ensure a successful start, we have created this guide with all the advice you need and some handy tips to make your new life as a student a little easier.
It’s a good idea to start creating a checklist before you move out of home – that way you won’t forget anything, and you can add to it if you remember something important.
Before you leave home, check with your accommodation to see what you need and what you don’t need. If you’re moving into halls, they might provide things for you already.
To keep the feeling of home sickness away, make your new space comfy and snug.
If you have new flatmates, pluck up the courage to introduce yourself – don’t lock yourself up in your room.
Read More: The Ultimate Packing Checklist for Uni
Studying, socialising and becoming much more independent can take its toll on your health and wellbeing, especially combined with late nights and cramming sessions. Therefore, looking after yourself is imperative for succeeding at university.
To ensure you manage your health successfully, you should exercise regularly and eat properly. Don’t forget those five-a-day!
Before you leave for uni, learn to cook some basic recipes so you’re not living off pot noodles and beans on toast ALL the time.
As well as looking after your physical health, remember to take care of your mental health too - talk to people around you if you feel yourself struggling.
Don’t forget to:
Register with a GP
Find out who your university support team are
Take up positive ways to help manage stress
Join a society or clubs that interest you
Don’t feel pressured to do things you don’t want to do
Freshers week is your chance to meet new people and find out what the university has to offer. Many universities publish Freshers' Week schedules on their website or on the Students' Union website. Use it as an opportunity to get to know your surroundings and find your bearings which will help answer such questions as:
“How long does it take to walk to lectures”
“Where is the library?”
“Where will I do a proper food shop?”
It’s a good idea to visit the Freshers Fair as you will meet new people (and get tons of freebies) as well as getting the opportunity to check out all the societies on offer – whatever your interest, usually there will be a club for it!
A crucial part of university is learning how to manage your money – this can quickly run out when you take into account funds for food, rent, fuel, resources for your course and socialising. A recent report showed that a night out in Belfast was £10 more expensive than any other in the UK with students spending £56 on a night out!
The most successful way to budget is to add up how much you need for living costs and expenses - what you have left over will be for spending money. It’s easy to blow it all in a few days however you need this amount to live on for a few months at a time, especially if you are receiving a maintenance loan. Keep yourself right by keeping a budget app so you can keep track of your spending.
Here are a few tips to survive:
Open up a student bank account. They will offer additional benefits such as an interest-free overdraft.
Plan your big shop – buying in bulk will mean you save you some pennies and never go hungry, win-win!
Apply for a part-time job – taking a few shifts might just change your financial position dramatically.
Make use of your student discount and take advantage of ‘Student Nights’ and loyalty cards.
Don’t forget to take into account unexpected costs like TV Licence, society costs, printer costs and tech problems.
Living at home and commuting can be sometimes frustrating but here are just a few reasons ways why commuting can be awesome too:
You can do what you want with your time – commuting gives you the choice of when you need to knuckle down and study hard and when you can hang out and party with friends – no door knocks at 2am from your flatmates who have lost their keys!
Commuting can be productive in its own way – if you listen to a podcast everyday or just block out a period of time to mentally check off everything you need to get done that day.
It’s so much cheaper – you are cutting down on the biggest student expense: room and board. You could make further savings by fuel economising and if you’re new to driving, you could benefit from upfront discounts on your insurance.
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