Before I went to university, I wish someone gave me a guide on preparing for university, what to do, how to act and basically just wrapped me up and told me everything was going to be okay. Luckily, I found some forever friends in my accommodation who basically looked after me my entire first year. I needed support and luckily, I found it. University is a daunting place and ultimately finding that support network is a vital part. But for some people I know they struggled and I think admitting that is really important.
1. Accept donations
Get family members to donate what they can to minimise on having to buy new stuff.
2. Plan your move in date
Organise your move in date in advance as having someone to drop you off will make the move easier for you. You will most likely need someone to help carry things and move the furniture for you.
3. Fit in the car
Have all of your belongings be able to fit into a car especially if you are moving across the country. You won’t be able to make multiple trips moving your stuff in to your accommodation unless you want to pay for a moving van!
4. Emergency fund
Save up some extra money for emergencies. For when you break the TV and need to replace it to keep your security deposit.
5. Group chat
Organise a group chat with your roommates if you know who you are going to be sharing with – to coordinate who is bringing a toaster or microwave etc.
You may think you will need every pair of trainers that you own – but if you haven’t worn something or used it in a year you most likely won’t use it again. The things you won’t and don’t use give to charity, rather than clogging up your space in your university accommodation.
7. Home supplies
When your family member/friend/boyfriend offers to take you shopping for home supplies listen to them! You might not think you need the vacuum cleaner, bleach or mop now but when your roommate manages to get sick on your walls, you will be thanking them for making you get that purchase.
8. IKEA time
Before you go to university, a trip to IKEA is definitely needed or if you can’t get to an IKEA, an equivalent is needed. For cheap cutlery, plates, lamp shades – things you need but most likely will get ruined with drunk housemates and rowdy parties in your first year.
9. Fancy a drink?
Stock up on alcohol, shot glasses, drinking games before you go – it can be nerve-wracking walking into your accommodation alone your first day. If you introduce yourself with cards against humanity and a shot of vodka, it will put people at ease and allow people to get to know each other without any of the awkwardness of meeting strangers for the first time.
10. Back to school shopping
Buy all your stationary and books you need before university starts, you will underestimate where your money goes in the first few weeks of university. Learning how to budget is a vital skill in first year. And ultimately everyone goes through it, I did in my first few weeks having to live on super noodles and chicken nuggets after I blew through all my loans.
11. Try to save
Moving onto my second point, when you get your student loans, paid from work or any income come into your account. I would say save but I know that seems like the worst option. But buy some dry food ingredients for when your money does run out, super noodles, pasta, rice, beans and things like that. So, when your money’s low you can at least make yourself some beans on toast to cure that hangover, bad lecture or just general starvation.
12. Fancy dress
Bring random fancy dress items of clothing that you own. This may sound strange but a big part of first year is going to fancy dress parties, toga events, paint parties etc. So, having a stack of clothes to pick from will stop you having to go out and buy a new outfit for every event. Especially for events like the UV parties where you will get covered in paint and will never be able to get the neon green off your favourite mini skirt.