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University Survival Guide

So you got your A-level results and you either got into your Uni choice or you didn't. If you didn't get into your choices it's not the end of the world, there are (if you haven't seen already) really good places available on UCAS Clearing. The places available do go fast, but if you are worried about the courses available and universities available don't. UCAS Clearing has got a lot better over the years and I have had a peek at the places available, a lot more variety in courses and a lot more variety of universities in the country (so there should be a course and a university near you).

If you got your place, great welcome to the world of being a student! Now your probably thinking you've only got about a month till it all starts so where do you begin?

If you are planning on staying at home there isn't much you need to prepare. But, you need to ensure you are registered online as this will set you up for you university email (important for turning in your assignments). You may also need to pay for the events during fresher's week (if you want to take part). As well as these first week fun things you need to make sure you know how your going to get into uni, as you don't want to be late or miss lectures.  If you miss a lot of lectures it will cut down your scores especially if you are graded on attendance, experiments, etc. As well as for your scores, if you miss a lot of lectures you will have a meeting on why, more after that you could face being asked to leave. So, with this in mind, if your someone who finds it hard to get up in the morning, you've got about a month to get used to it. You need to ensure your Student Finance is in order as well as changes can affect whether you get your money on time. So, if you got a place in Clearing make sure you update Student Finance.

If your a student who is going the halls route you need to do a few more things as well as these. You need to ensure you have got your accommodation all sorted, whether booking it or sorting out deposits. Got your accommodation,  you'll find move in is the weekend before you start.

This time is also great to buy those much needed room and kitchen essentials. You will find a lot of the cheaper halls will not allow cooking equipment in your room (ie/fridge, kettle, etc). But, I found that a mini fridge and a basic kettle are much needed things in your room and they are easily hidden under your bed. It is essential to have a fridge as you find that people can sneakily steel your food even if you put your name on it (trust me, some one drunk all my milk and replaced it with water and took a bite out of my block of cheese and put it back). Don't forget those pots and pans, as you can't live off pot noodles for the next 3 years, I did find that I needed to get a lot more cutlery as the cheaper basic range brake a lot easier. You will also need at least a large plate and bowl as well as a small bowl and plate as some of the student food doesn't fit small bowls. You need to remember the essential bedding as well, like duvets, pillows and covers/sheets as they don't usually provide these things for you. If you do want a TV you need to know that you'll have to purchase a TV License to be able to actually watch it legally, and if you think you'll be safe, trust me you aren't unless you keep your curtains closed. When I was at uni before we had people come in to the halls and use a camera on a poll to look into peoples windows to see if there were any TVs (so just be cautious).

But for all you students, whether your staying at home or away you'll need to do a back to school shop. When you register online you should be given some important information like what you need to have and what books will be best for your course. If there is specific equipment you need they will usually give you some websites to get it as my last experience I had to get royal blue overalls which were the hardest to find. There are usually a lot of books on the list but you don't need to get them all (unless it is an English Literature course, as those will be the books you need to read). The books are a guild line and you will find that the more advanced books on the list will be a lot better for your course as they will have more information for explanation. I usually get the books from Amazon, as they are cheaper and the used ones aren't to bad with a price of 1p there isn't any complaints. You can also get the books from former students to the course, as once on the university intranet you will find ex-students selling them.

This is a good time to think about your expenses and what you want to spend a week. This is a typical thing to say but I've been there and I know, you end up spending loads straight away and bank of mum and dad is needed to bail you out. So, think about what you really want and if you really want to spend for it. It can be really easy in the first week or two to go out drinking every night, but you end up spending a lot of your Student Loan. I have met a lot of student who have been out partying most nights at the beginning of their student lives that they couldn't afford to live and attend Uni to the point that they ended up leaving. 

With these things in mind you should be a little more wiser and ready for you first days at uni. Have fun and get some life experience and don't worry if you don't like it, you can always change courses or leave all together. It's up to you, it's your life so live it!

Stay Gorgeous

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