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Preparing Yourself for First Year of University

Monday, 12 September 2016
Preparing For University
Preparing Yourself for First Year of University

Going uni this year? Worried about what it's going to be like and how you will cope? Don't worry, I was in the same boat! Whatever you are feeling, I promise you there are plenty of other people feeling the same way as you. Whether you're excited, nervous or petrified, there is someone out there that is just like you.

My decision to go uni was very last minute. I was in a full time job, where I have been working for over a year. I found out that you can apply through clearing without having to apply before the January deadline. Out of interest, I looked around the clearing website to see what courses were left and I found a course that really interested me. I got so excited about it that I ended up writing my personal statement in 3 days (with the help from the boyf of course). I rang the uni once I completed my UCAS profile, and got the place just like that. I had to hand in my notice at work the next day and was moving out of my parents home in a month. The pressure was unreal.

I had to buy everything so quickly, simple stuff like a frying pan, pillows etc. Things like that I never thought about buying before and it actually made me feel so grown up! Although I was excited to be more independent, I was still very anxious about it all. I felt like I was in such a rush to get everything sorted and to see everyone before I leave. Of course I also had to plan my leaving drinks. Even though I was doing so much to prepare myself, it still didn't sink in that I was actually moving out and starting my degree. Anyways, if you are starting uni this year, here are a few ideas on how to prepare yourself..

Make a List
This means being organised. Make a list before you start buying ANYTHING. This will help you so much in knowing what you need to buy and what shops you need to go to. Make a list of how much things are going to cost you, so you know exactly how much you're spending. This will avoid you forgetting something really important and having to buy it last minute.

Plan Ahead
Again organisation. As soon as you get your timetable, you should plan what certain days are gonna be for. For example, if you have a day off (majority of the time, you have a day off during the week), then you could have that day as a working day somewhere to get you a little bit extra money. If there is a day where you're only at university for two hours, then you could use that day to catch up on any work you need to do. Make sure you start applying for jobs as soon as you get your timetable as jobs go fast.

Sort Your Budget
Living away at uni can actually work out really expensive. Especially in first year, where you want to go out all the time and socialise. With your student loan and any other money you have coming in, you should plan how much you're gonna spend on food and necessities. Then you can see how much you have left for socialising and treating yourself. You don't want to get to a stage where you have no money left whatsoever, and you have to live off pasta and cheese whilst everyone else is going out do you?

Get a Diary 
Well, you can use the calendar on your phone as I know a lot of people like to use that, but I prefer a diary myself. You should write your uni timetable in there, as well as any work you are planning to do. You should write down any chores you need to do that day and when you are going home etc. This does link in with planning ahead but trust me, when it's all written down you can see exactly how much time you have for yourself and you are less likely to forget about the important things.

Enjoy it
This is my most important point of all. You need to enjoy it. Especially first year where you are out there to meet people. Of course do your work and try not to be behind as it can get extremely stressful around exams and deadlines. However, make sure you do make time to go out, explore the place you live in and have some time for yourself. Do things you really enjoy (e.g. shopping of course), and don't stress yourself out too much. Yes you're degree is important however, if you don't enjoy your time out there it can really reflect on your grades. Make sure you have time to relax as well as doing your work.

Have you got any other tips about going to university? Let me know in the comments below!x