Top tips on how to prepare for university from a current student

Darllenwch yn y Gymraeg

On this week’s blog, second year Bath student Chelsea Powell, originally from Newport, gives her tips on how to prepare for university and what to do when you get there.

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My name is Chelsea, I’m from Newport and study at the University of Bath. I study BSc Social Sciences and have just finished my second year.

Going to university is a really big change for most of us. For the first time ever we are in complete control over what we do, where we go and how we spend our money. It’s exciting to think how much freedom we have! We also have to take responsibility for some boring stuff that we often see our parents doing, like washing, cleaning and cooking for ourselves. Adjusting to uni life doesn’t happen overnight, but here are some of my own top tips to help you out.

Before going:

  • Check that your student finance is all in place, open a student bank account and check what you need to bring with you. It’s great to keep on top of these things as it will save a lot of hassle later on.
  • Take home comforts! Whether it be food or fairy lights, be prepared to make your new room feel homely.
  • If you have limited experience of cooking, cleaning and shopping for yourself, then it may be worth practicing before leaving the comfort of home! If you will be living in self-catered accommodation, you should certainly practice cooking at least a few cheap and simple meals before moving away.
  • Bake/bring something to share with your new housemates. Who doesn’t love free food?
  • Look into the different clubs and societies available before you get to uni. Fresher’s week can be quite a blur so it’s useful to have a rough idea of what you’re interested in by the time you get to uni.
  • Check the uni web and social media pages for induction information for new starters.

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When you first arrive:

  • Once you arrive at university it is important to register with a local doctor and dentist- most universities will be near local surgeries and some have their own dedicated surgeries/clinics.
  • As just mentioned, Fresher’s week really can be a blur! A lot happens in the space of that week, so ensure you try to balance things out. Eat well, get a coffee with your new housemates, go to all compulsory induction lectures, familiarise yourself with the campus/area and attend Fresher’s fair events.
  • Keep track of your money. Remember, your student finance needs to last a few months so be realistic about spending, especially during Fresher’s week!It is useful to have a weekly budget, where you allocate specific amounts for food shopping and for leisure and social activities.

Don’t be surprised if adjusting to uni is difficult – many people struggle with the first few weeks or months. All unis have strong support networks in place to help support students to settle in, so feel free to ask for help if you need it. It’s also important to remember that most students will also be living away from home and probably won’t know anyone else at university, so everyone is likely to be in the same boat!

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