University is definitely one of the most important milestones in any young person’s life, but it does come with its share of hurdles. There is a lot of initial uncertainty and anxiety about starting an independent life, so for you freshers out there, I organized a handy guide to take off some of the pressure!
Start planning beforehand
The next academic year may seem like it's miles away, but truth be told there are several things you need to consider before you come. It would be good to start preparing a checklist of things you will need to pack and buy (kitchenware, for example, may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s certainly something you’ll need from day one!). Having a checklist will make your packing - and unpacking - a lot smoother and stress-free. Savethestudent.org has a particularly handy packing checklist as well as amazing guides for finding part-time jobs, managing finances and studying.
Arrange your accommodation and finances
It is also good to start thinking about the kind of student halls you’d like to live in - do you prefer those that cater, or where you cook yourself? Do you want to live in a more lively neighbourhood, or do you prefer someplace more solitary? Understanding these preferences will help you choose the right student accommodation, and since you are going to be living there for a year, it’s something you should think about carefully! Also, don’t forget to sort out your finances and student loans (applications can take a while, so better start early). It would even be wise to have a monthly budget so that when you start university, budgeting does not add to the stress of studies.
Get ready to do the chores
Make sure that before you come, you have a basic grasp on cooking and cleaning, because takeout meals can only last that long. There are numerous apps and websites with student and budget-friendly recipes - cooking is an essential skill to have, so I recommend investing some time in practising simple meals (my favourite site would be Epicurious!). If you’re planning to live in shared accommodation, consider making a rota and having a friendly chat with your flatmates on how you will divide the chores.
Hopefully, this checklist will make your transition to student life a lot smoother and less daunting. After all, the university is all about growth and self-discovery!