Going to university is a great experience but it’s also a dramatic lifestyle change. As well as packing your bags, you need to sort out important stuff like money, accommodation and transport.
But don’t worry if that all sounds a bit overwhelming, because help is just a click away. Brightside is an education charity dedicated to helping students get the best out of higher education. As well as the Student Calculator website – where you can build an interactive budget to help you manage your finances - Brightside also run the Bright Knowledge resource library, which is packed with advice about money, careers and student life. Head to Bright Knowledge for a head-start preparing for university, and use the following checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you need to before you set off.
- Make sure you’ve applied for your student loan on time, so the money’s in your account by the time you start your course. Check the student finance explained feature for more information.
- Open a student bank account. You’ll want a bank with a branch close to campus. Do some research, read these student banking tips and shop around for the best deal.
- Visit the Student Calculator to plan a weekly budget to help make your money last while you study.
- Learn how to stretch your cash further with these budgeting tips.
- Get vaccinated. Meningitis can spread quickly at uni. Make sure you don’t fall victim to it!
- Take a look at the health section for more advice on staying fit and well at uni.
- Organise accommodation if you’re studying away from home. This is really important – don’t expect it to be done for you! Your university will have a dedicated housing team in their student services who can tell you everything you need to know, and the accommodation section is also full of helpful hints.
- If you have a disability, contact the university’s disability office or student services, to discuss any specific requirements you may have.
- Once you’ve got your new address, redirect your post, especially those bank statements. You need to stay on top of your spending!
Information from the university
- Read enrolment instructions. Where do you need to be and when during that first week?
- Read the information sent to you from your department and any recommended reading that has been given. You might want to delay buying text books until you start the course. That way you can be certain they are necessary. You may also be able to buy cheaper second-hand copies on campus after you start.
What to take
- Check that your computer is compatible with the university’s network. You may need to install a wireless card if your pc or laptop isn’t wifi enabled.
- Buy a map of the area where you will be living and studying.
- Pack your bags. Don’t go overboard. Remember you may have to move out again during the holidays. There’s no point lugging everything back and forth. Take only what you need.
- Sort out your transport from home to university. You might get a lift from a family member or friend, but if you have to book a flight, train or coach, book in advance and you’ll save yourself a packet.
For more info about everything uni related visit the Bright Knowledge website.