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A Guide To University Planning and Success For Students

September 23, 2019

So, the exam results are out and hopefully you are celebrating being accepted in to a university of your choice if you have chosen to continue your education. Congratulations!

Getting a place at a university you really want is a momentous moment and cause for celebration. You are now on your way to the next stage of your life and the next few weeks until you go will whizz by! Once you have finished celebrating your results and are ready to focus on this next adventure, take some time to plan your next steps to ensure you hit the ground running in September.

Starting University Checklist…

1.Once you have your offer even if it’s through clearing, make sure you have your student finance sorted and have applied for any disabled student allowance too should you require any additional support at uni.

2. Next it’s time to get your accommodation sorted. It’s first come first served when it comes to student housing, and as some universities are over-subscribed its best to tick this off your list early on.

3. You will most likely get a welcome message from uni via email or through UCAS. Make sure you read this carefully as it will contain course information and some pre-course projects for you to complete before your first lecture.

4. If you don’t know anyone that is going to your university then try to make contact with other students on your course or in your halls – there will be facebook pages for this.

5. Make sure your inoculations are up to date before you leave for university as you don't want to come down with something that may ruin your next great adventure.

6. Get everything you need to live in halls before you go. This will include bedding, cooking utensils etc etc and anything else that will make uni life easy for you. Lots of shops sell “starter packs” at this time of year that include everything you need for student life.

University is a fantastic experience. You will meet lots of new, interesting people and you will develop friendships that may last a lifetime. Of course, you will study hard – your main objective is to aim for a first – however, university is about so much more than learning and getting a degree. Companies expect a lot more than that first or 2:1. To enhance your CV you will need to add value to your degree, and a good place to start is right at the start.

Here are a few things to consider and think about while you are at uni…

Freshers week Do’s and Don’ts

This is your first taste of living away from home and having the freedom to do what you want and go where you want without a parent or guardian questioning you. It is a great opportunity to grow in confidence, see what your uni has to offer and of course meet new people. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to think about…

Do:

1. Join as many societies as you can – this is a great opportunity to network and meet interesting people. It will also add value to your cv by giving you the chance to develop new skills.

2. Buy your food for the week before you have the chance to spend it all on booze! If you are living in a shared flat then consider clubbing together with your flat mates and making a meal plan for the week which you can cook and eat together. Food is a brilliant thing to bond over!

3. Stay safe : be aware of drugs especially in clubs and NEVER leave your drink even in the company of others until you know them well enough to trust them.

4. Sort out all your wifi requirements and TV licence (even if you are watching TV on your laptop)

5. Organise any library cards / access codes

6. Make a plan for budgeting and your weekly spending

Don’t

1. Assume fresher’s week is all about drinking!

2. Put anything on any social media platform that you would not tell your granny! Even if you remove the post, companies employ people to access this and it could jeopardise your career.

3. Spend all your student loan at once!

University is an amazing experience for most students. However, there may be times you feel lonely, stressed, isolated or depressed. Making contact with someone who will listen is vital especially if this is your first time away from home. Student support is there for you in times of crisis. Most universities now take their duty of care very seriously, but you will need to speak up to get the help. Talking is the key so never be ashamed about how you feel. You most definitely will not be alone.

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