How to prepare for University

Thousands of students will have woken up to the news that they have secured a place at a University and will be packing their bags ready to head off next month. Here’s how to prepare for University properly so you can get off to a great start in the first step of your career.

If you’ve got the grades you needed or you’ve gone through clearing and landed a place on the University course of your choice, the first thing you want to do is celebrate. And rightly so, but when the partying stops, then you have to start preparing for your new life at University. It’s not as simple as packing your bags and moving in, unfortunately. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list which will help you make the transition from secondary education to higher education that little bit easier.

1. Get the important things out of the way 

When moving to University, there are a lot of things you have to check off your list before you can start planning what your room will look like. Firstly, make sure you keep your certificates safe in case your University want a copy of them. Also, you have to ‘pre-enrol’ with some Universities, so make sure you fill out everything your Uni asks of you to make the process of moving to Uni hassle-free.

2. Take a look at your module guide

With some University courses, you have the option of choosing which modules you take for your course. This usually comes in the second or third years of your degree, but taking a look at your module guide will help you get to know your course that little bit better, and will help in your preparation.

3. Reading lists

It may seem like a bit of a buzzkill to be given a reading list when you’re getting excited to head off to University, but that’s the way it is. Reading lists are just guidelines, don’t make the mistake of buying every single book on the list. Students are notorious for living off a budget, so don’t spend a couple of hundred pounds on some books you might not even need. Look at your module guide and buy books which are related to those specific modules, as well as a few general books about your course as a whole. abebooks.com is a lifesaver for students. This site sells secondhand textbooks and also compares prices for you. Steer clear of Amazon as the books can be expensive, and look for the cheapest option.Now you’re a student, you’re going to need to get used to living on a budget.

4. Deals and Offers 

Now you’re a student, you’re entitled to student discounts. Make sure you purchase an NUS card as they will save you a substantial amount of money throughout the year. Most places offer some kind of student discount, but your biggest chance of a discount will be online. Places like ASOS offer a 10 per cent student discount all year round, as well as a number of other deals. Even for outlandish products you can get some good deals. Apples student deal this year will give you a free pair of Dr. Dre headphones when you buy a new laptop, so make sure you have a shop around and you’ll be surprised what bargains you can find.

5. Freshers isn’t just for having fun

It’s always exciting meeting your new flat mates and new course mates for the first time, but the activities during freshers week are just as important. Course introduction sessions are vital, as this is the first time you will meet your lecturers and your course mates. You don’t want to miss all these sessions and start your course not knowing anything about your course or anyone on it.

6. Jobs 

When you’re having the time of your life at University, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is getting a job. Managing your social life, academics and any sport or extra-curricular activities may seem difficult, but a part time job will help you out financially. Jobs at the student union are your best bet, and depending on where you live, there may be a part time opening in the town centre. Your student loan wont last forever, and your parents will only be willing to give you so much for partying, so having a job to fall back on isn’t always a bad idea.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions 

Moving to University and away from your parents can be scary, and sometimes overwhelming. Your University isn’t expecting you to know everything, that’s why there are people you can call and people you can speak to at your Uni to make the process of settling in easier. UCAS and Universities have helplines that you can call if you’re unsure about what you need to do, and there will also be a student support centre if you’re having a tough time to begin with, so there’s no need to feel alone.

8. Enjoy it

Don’t let the hassle of moving in and getting sorted ruin your experience. This is a new chapter in your life and you should be able to enjoy it. University is one of the greatest experiences, where you will meet some lifelong friends whilst studying something you’re passionate about. There’s no reason to be stressed or intimidated as long as you’re organised. Start as you mean to go on and University will be the best thing thats ever happened to you.


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Charlie Atkinson

Reporter for Business Matters Magazine

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Reporter for Business Matters Magazine