10 Things to Do Before Starting University

Starting university this year? Do yourself a favour and tick off these ten things to do before freshers’ week 👇

If your freshers’ week is approaching, you might be wondering what exactly you need to do to get ready for starting university. From student finance to signing up for freshers’ fair events, there’s a whole load of ways you can be prepared. Here’s what we recommend.

Find your flatmates 🏡

If you’re heading off to student halls this year, it might be a good idea to reach out to your future flatmates before you go. This can make it loads easier to feel at home when you move in, and you’ll have someone to chat to when you get there.

So, how do you find your flatmates? Usually, a Facebook or WhatsApp group will already be made for the student halls you’re staying in. A quick search on social media will bring up the relevant groups. If you’re staying in private housing, reach out to your landlord and ask to be put in touch!

Your Freshers’ Guide has a whole website page dedicated to helping you find your flatmates, with groups available for most universities across the UK. Find yours using their Flatmate Finder here.

Open a student bank account đź’¸

A student bank account is a must-have for new students. From helping you with an overdraft to getting your Maintenance Loan, it’s pretty important to get one of these set up as soon as you can.

Now-a-days, it’s super easy to find a bank with perks to suit you, so make sure to do a bit of research before opening your student bank account; after all, you can only have one. We’ve put together a list of the best student bank accounts to check out, and how to go about applying for one here.

Complete your student finance registration đź’»

You’ll probably want to complete your student finance registration as soon as you can (all hail the maintenance loan). After you register at your university, you’re then able to update your account.

Make sure to organise for these payments to be deposited into the correct bank account (this is a requirement for most student banks). It’s also worth checking when you’ll be paid and how much you’ll receive – this can help you with budgeting...

Make a budget đź’°

There’s nothing worse than being 2 weeks before payday and not having any cash to spare. Students who budget are much less likely to experience this struggle for money – no matter how low their income might be. So, it’s usually a good idea to be ahead of the game if you’re hoping to save some money.

We recommend making a budget in order to make ends meet. Budgeting isn’t glamorous, nor is it much fun, but it doesn’t take long at all. We actually have a whole step-by-step guide on how to make the most of your student loan, which will talk you through everything you need to know. Just remember you might want to budget a bit higher for freshers 👀

Register with your university’s GP 🩺

When you move to university, you’ll want to register with a local GP. This is important to do as soon as you can (you don’t want to be waiting longer than you need to in case of an emergency). 

Your university will probably have some suggestions available online for which GP to register with. Most of the time, it makes sense to register with the health centre attached to your university. These health care professionals are well-versed in the student sphere, so you’ll get the best care available.

Make sure you have everything 📦

Packing for university is pretty intense. There’s bound to be some things you forget, as well as some things you don’t even think you need in the first place. A few weeks before you move to university, make a note on your phone and add in the little things that you think you’ll probably forget. Plus, there are a bunch of packing lists available online where you can browse for things you might not remember to pop in your suitcase. Check out our checklist here.

Even if you do forget something, you’ll probably be able to buy another one nearby or borrow from your flatmates. So, don’t stress about making sure you have absolutely everything (after all, you’ll just have to take it all back home soon enough).

Get to know the area đź“Ť

Whether it’s simply a Google Street View search or a full-on day out, getting to know your new neighbourhood is a great idea. It'll put you in good stead to search for the best route to campus (and find any shortcuts) so you don’t get lost on your first day.

It’s also worth noting down some sought-after student food spots near your accommodation and university campus. There’ll be plenty to stick your teeth into, and you’ll be high-fiving your flatmates when you know exactly where to go for the best full English in town. Get to know the best local cafes, bars and restaurants using Tripadvisor and Foursquare, and Google is always your best friend.

Sign up for freshers’ week events ✍️

Freshers’ week is the go-to for students to get the low-down on life at your university. Whether you’re a fresher yourself or fully-fledged third year, there’s always plenty to get stuck into. From meeting new people to getting to understand how the Students’ Union works, you’ll learn loads just from being out and about.

Discover what’s going on near you using Facebook groups, forums and websites like Your Freshers’ Guide. There’s bound to be things you can get involved with to make the most of your freshers’ week experience.

We always recommend getting signed up to a few societies and clubs at your freshers’ fair, so do some reading to see which might interest you. Your Students’ Union will probably have some great resources on their website which can help you do some exploring.

Have a look at part-time jobs 🕵️‍♂️

Getting ahead of the game with the job market will give you a huge advantage. Just as you might have left your current part time job to go to uni, there will be businesses at your new city which are in the same boat. The part-time job market is at its best at this time of year, so it’s the perfect time to search for a job.

You don’t necessarily need to have moved to university yet to send an application. In fact, doing it before you move will put you one step ahead of everyone else. And, when students move to university, local businesses are going to have an influx of applications sent their way – so being early will give you the edge.

Craft a relevant CV, search for local jobs on Facebook pages and job boards, and get some applications sent. Even better, if any places really catch your eye, pick up the phone and chat to someone directly about applying. This’ll really make you stand out.

Have a look over your syllabus đź“ť

We’ve left the boring bit until last, but it’s a good idea to actually check out your course notes before freshers’ week. Review your timetable, look into which campus you’re based at and scan any pre-course recommended reading.

This’ll set you up well for your first few lectures and seminars - and will get you in your lecturers’ good books (always a bonus). There probably won’t be anything too heavy, so it won’t take loads of time, but it’s bound to help you feel ready to take on the first semester.

Want to know more about what to expect from freshers’ week? Check out our blog on everything you need to know.

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