Check out our top tips for how to prepare for university - from budgets to what to take with you and how to combat homesickness

How To Prepare For University

As you prepare for university and starting your first year, it’s easy to get lost in the late nights and fun times during these 6 weeks of holiday. But if you are feeling overwhelmed we’re here to help and ease the burden, read on to see our 5 practical things to add to your university checklist!

1. Sort out your finances

While this may not seem like the most exciting task when starting to prepare for university, it’s important to get your finances in order before freshers’ week so you can budget for the coming academic year.

The first thing you need to do is set up a student bank account, remember to look out for the bank with the best 0% interest overdraft facilities. Banks typically make daily charges if you exceed your arranged overdraft, so always read the small print.

2. Decide what to take

Find out what you can and can’t bring into your accommodation and also what is provided at your accommodation to avoid making unnecessary purchases. If you’re taking a laptop, tablet or any other gadgets, look into insuring them as this will protect them should they get lost, damaged or stolen during your stay.

Items such as stationery, pain relief and cleaning products are easily forgotten, so by keeping organised and preparing a list of necessities you won’t be left short of any essentials.

3. Benefit from discounted travel

As taking your car to university isn’t always necessary, a railcard could save you some serious cash if you’re planning on visiting home or friends at other universities throughout the term.

However, if you do have a car bare in mind parking is likely to be limited, and you’ll typically have to pay for a permit to leave it on campus. On the other hand, public transport will keep you connected, especially in bigger cities. So, it’s worth looking into the savings you can make on using trains, buses and coaches instead.

4. Get to know the area

Visit your university town or city to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings, especially if your chosen university is far from home. It’s a good idea to have a look around while you’re visiting for an open day or even opt for a tour experience that can give you some sense of what to expect.

Once you’ve moved, use your spare time before the start of term to locate your nearest train station, local shops and GP surgery, as well as your campus library, students’ union and lecture buildings.

5. Spend time with family and friends

Depending on how far away you’re moving to study, you may not be able to see them for a few months, so why not plan activities that involve spending quality time with your loved ones?

While you’ll be doing lots of exciting things and meeting new people in your first term, homesickness is normal and might kick in once you’ve settled. Recent memories of good times, and photos or mementos to keep in your bedroom, are a good way to combat these feelings.

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