Results are in. Places have been accepted. And now you’re lost in the chaos of what comes next (*insert ominous film music*). Here’s a rundown of things to tick off your list if you're preparing to move away from home into the great unknown.
A one- stop- shop at Ikea may seem like a good idea, but trust me, you don’t want to get lost in that labyrinth with a basket full of miscellaneous items. The first thing to do is get a list (either on paper or typed in an accessible document) of the key things you need to bring. It can be so easy to try and take the whole of your room, but most things can be bought when you get there if needed, so don’t panic pack! Try to remember the more general stuff* (from clothes, a laptop and stationary) to things that are specific to the kind of accommodation you’ll be staying in. For example, if you’re self-catered, make sure you save space for pots, pans, crockery, cutlery and all the rest of it! It may be handy to bring some kitchen stuff even if you are catered, in case you fancy cooking yourself a midnight snack. It’s a good idea to coordinate kitchenware and food shops with your flatmates when you find out who they are- kill two birds in one stone by saving money and energy! Joining facebook groups (search for your university or accommodation name and the year your cohort would be graduating) can also help you meet new people.
In all this rush, it’s also easy to forget that you’ll actually be living by yourself in a completely different place! Try to prepare for any unwanted confusion by familiarising yourself with the university’s location. Remember those Year 8 geography lessons using the little man on google maps to walk around streets? Well, try plonking it down to explore your campus surroundings and city. This could be super helpful to familiarise yourself with good transport routes or local supermarkets you may have to dash to at ungodly hours.
If I had a penny for every time I said ‘preparation is key,’ I’d be able to pay my student finances in a flash… but it’s true! Make sure you’re up to date on emails that your university has sent you, about accommodation, tuition fees, vaccination statuses and all the rest of it. There might also be an online checklist of things you need to do and online forms to fill on a student portal, so keep an eye out for that. Universities should have sent out a confirmation and some more follow up information that you’ll be studying with them in September, and if they haven’t, try to follow up on it. Finances are a crucial part of student life, and sorting them out in advance can really be a saviour. Creating a rough budget on how much money will go towards your accommodation, food and ‘going out’ pots will hopefully ensure you’re not going too overboard with the spending! Student Finance England should have sent you a letter or email with your details on how your tuition and maintenance fee will be paid (again, follow up if you’ve applied for loans but haven’t heard back). Once the loans are in place, setting up a student bank account will not only give you lots of perks, such as shopping discounts and free train railcards but can be a handy way of keeping an eye on your student spending.
So whether you're anxious or excited, there’s plenty to be doing in preparation for flying the nest!
*P.S: As you may have noticed, this isn’t an extensive ‘what to bring to uni list’, as it differs for each person- don’t blame me when you forget your fluffy socks!
ANISHA MINOCHA is a sixth form student from Manchester, hoping to study English Literature and Spanish at university. She is a passionate writer and poet whose work has been published in anthologies, magazines, blogs and won competitions. Contributing to Sink Magazine, she is keen to utilize the voice of young people and share work through her creative writing blog. As a climate activist, she has combined her love for words and the planet in a performance of spoken word at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 'Letters to the Earth'. She also co-runs Young Friends of the Earth: Manchester and has organised workshops, participated in panels and spoken at Manchester Cathedral.
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