Get Prepared for University
Congratulations on securing your place at university!
As you prepare for this brand new and exciting step in your adventure, Boxed-Up are pleased to present a handy bite-sized guide to get you up and running...
With such a dramatic life change just around the corner, it’s inevitable there’ll be a few butterflies in your stomach, and a bundle of burning questions swimming around your head.
Here, we highlight a handy list of things to consider, and whilst they might not all necessarily apply, there’s sure to be a couple for you to cherry-pick.
A key thing to note is that there’s no need to worry if you forget something! Universities create micro-economies all of their own, so wherever you’re heading to, there’ll always be plenty of shops nearby to stock up on those forgotten essentials and treats. Alternatively, if you feel you can get by for a week or two, you can always pick it up on your next visit home!
Our Top Tips!
Aim to travel light. Your new room is likely to be small with very limited storage space. Usually, you’ll only be there during term-time, so just take what you need to get you through ‘til your next trip home
Don’t go wild and spend lots of money on new and expensive items – most of your stuff won’t survive past your first year!
Before heading out to buy those all-important items, be sure to investigate what your university actually provides as part of the package. There's no need to double up!
What to take?
Start by creating a simple check-list, using the Notes app on your phone, an Excel spreadsheet, or one of the fantastic project management tools such as Trello.
Make a note of everything you deem to be essential, such as clothing, bedding, toiletries, books, towels and kitchen essentials. (When it comes to your clothes, it might even be worth making a list of actual outfits, so you don’t end up taking items that can’t be teamed with other pieces in your wardrobe!)
Once you’ve completed your check-list, review it ruthlessly, and compare it to your current surroundings to determine whether all that stuff will actually fit into your new room! You also need to consider how you’re going to transport your belongings to your new abode; perhaps any large items that can be purchased relatively cheaply when you get there will save you making multiple journeys? Pick up some strong, sturdy boxes here, and don't forget to compartmentalise your gear and mark the boxes up, to make the unpacking process as smooth as possible.
If you’re staying in traditional halls, keep in mind that there are often six students to a dorm. The communal area can therefore be quite limited - so try not to take anything too overbearing if you’re planning to keep it in a shared space.
You may want to consider rotating seasonal items between your family home and your halls, so that you can maximise your available space. A good example would be to take your autumn/winter clothing at the start of the term, and then after the Christmas break, slowly integrate the clothes that are more suitable for the warmer weather.
Don’t forget of course, that what with all the social engagements you’ll be immersed in, it’s likely you’ll be spending very little time in your new digs - so don’t get yourself stressed out about squeezing your entire life into such a small space!
What do you need to organise before you get to university?
* Be sure to make sure that your vaccinations are up to date, including tetanus, measles, mumps and meningitis. You may have also heard of 'Fresher’s Flu', so it's well worth stocking up on your cold and flu remedies.
Fresher’s Flu is nothing major to worry about, but many students suffer from the ‘bacterial soup’ created during the first few weeks of term. This comes about as a result of all the different germs and viruses that come together when thousands of students migrate to one place from across the country. As with all flu-like symptoms, the best way to ease the effects of Fresher’s Flu is to get a few goods nights sleep, complemented by the usual over-the-counter remedies.
* Don't forget to take all your student loan papers, passport and other important documents that might be needed during your stay at university. Always keep them in a safe place, and somewhere you will remember.
* Ensure that you've got all the required reading material to see you through the university lectures. Whilst there's likely to be copies of the literature within the library, there won't be enough for all the students on the course. Naturally, a shiny new textbook will be appealing - but you might be able to save a few vital pounds by checking out a second-hand book store, for textbooks left behind by previous students.
What to do when you get to university
Once you've unpacked your many possessions - or at least found your toiletries and pyjamas - go and say hello to your new housemates. Be sure to make yourself familiar with the university campus by finding out where your lessons will be held, the location of the student union, and who to contact if you have any queries. You'll also want to find out where the nearest launderette and convenience stores are too.
Familiarising yourself with the locations of these places will ensure that the first day of your lessons will run smoothly, whilst early involvement in the student union will ensure that you're able to mix with all your peers and be involved in all the events that are scheduled during your time at university.
Our final tip is to ensure that you're aware of all the bus routes. This will enable you to arrange day trips with your friends and ensure an easy commute to and from the university and the city centre. Similarly, be sure that you're aware of any discount and benefit schemes available to students.
Most of all though, make sure you make the most of your lessons, and enjoy the new experiences available to you!