With those stressful A-Level exams out of the way and during the tense wait for grades – that uncomfortable wait to see if you’re going to the Uni of your choice, or having to find place somewhere else through clearing – you’re probably looking for something to focus on. Regardless of where it is you’ll be going, you could plan the logistics for your move off to those new undergraduate pastures.
So if you’re excited but daunted about the prospect of moving away from home, here’s a little A-B-C guide to how you might prepare for this new stage in your life…
Heading off to University is an exciting time. But there’s a lot to organise. For most, it will be their first experience of living away from the family home – and that’s a big deal. If it all seems a bit overwhelming – here are some tips to think about before your autumn Exodus.
Ensure you’ve sorted Accommodation
Chances are in your first year, you’ll be in a hall of residence. That’s great, because it means you’ll be on campus and everything you need will be accessible – from a dining hall, bank, launderette and the student Union Bar. If you haven’t bagsied your room, make sure you do in good time. There’s often fewer rooms available than students attending, so leaving it late will mean you’ve little or no choice on where you’ll live.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Going to Uni is no cheap thing, so you need to get a handle on your spending. With Tuition Fees and living expenses, student loans are an inevitable consequence for the majority (who don’t have rich parents). Going to University is often the first time most undergraduates take responsibility for their own finances. There’ll almost certainly be a bank on Campus, and you might end up opening your first account with them. It makes sense to plan a monthly budget for your rent and general living expenses (food, toiletries, phone, clothes, TV license etc.) then you can work out an amount for socialising that’s fair to yourself, but not obscenely indulgent.
You might be roping in your folks to get you and your stuff to uni, you might be using public transport or you might be lucky enough to own your own motor. If you’re using Public Transport you’ll be travelling light, one solution is to budget for and buy all the things you’ll need – such as bedding, toiletries and kitchen utensils from local shops when you arrive. That will of course mean that at the end of the term you have a whole bunch of stuff that you din’t bring down with you…
Stuff and Storage
Student rooms are notoriously small, so you may find you need extra storage space. Especially if you enjoy active sports and outdoor pursuits that necessitate a lot of equipment – such as surfing, canoeing, skiing, snowboarding or cycling. Self storage is a great option – as you can rent just the space you need, and there’ll almost certainly be a facility round the corner not too far from your accommodation. Look for decent student discounts and the fairest terms and conditions.
Holiday move outs
If you’re in Hall, chances are you’ll have to move out when term has finished. Most Universities hold conferences during the holidays and your dorm will be let out to delegates. That means you’ll have to clear out all your stuff on your last day – which could mean organising getting it all back to the family home. One alternative is to continue your usage of local self storage for the duration that you’re out of hall. You can put your stuff in there and you won’t have to move it far – so it is much more convenient – and it’ll be easy to get it back to your room when term starts.
That first week is going to be one of the most exciting times of your life – and if you’re properly prepared it’ll be a lot less scary. We hope you enjoy it.