1. Set up a student bank account
As a student from Northern Ireland I had an account with a bank back home which was a problem when I began University in England. I would highly suggest setting up a student account with a branch close to your Uni. This saves a lot of stress if something goes wrong and you need to pop in! There are a lot of different offers available to students such as a free 4 year railcard or an interest-free overdraft. Make sure to do your research on which best suits your needs and has a good reputation with students!
2. Learn the basics of adulting
Have you ever used the washing machine, cooked your own dinner or paid your own bills? If not you should definitely become familiar with these things before you begin Uni life. Learn to cook some easy meals that you can rotate (ready-meals are not your friend). Sit down with your parents and ask them about bills and have a go at some chores! It won’t be particularly fun but it will be necessary and you’ll be glad you learned later.
3. Learn how to budget
Everyone thinks they’re loaded when they get their student loan but the truth is that it often doesn’t go as far as you’d think once you take out rent and food. Give yourself a crash course in budgeting so you know how much you can spend each week and how much you have to enjoy yourself! It’s always wise to save up some money before you start and during the year if possible. If you need to have a look at job opportunities at the end of the Summer!
4. Use Social Media
Social media is the best way to make some friends and get to know people on your course before arriving. You can often get in touch with flat mates in halls and get to know each other before moving in or plan some events together for Freshers week! Most Universities and courses also have accounts on facebook and twitter you can follow to find out what you can expect from your degree! Use social media to your advantage!
5. Decide what to take with you
Contrary to popular belief you do not need to take the entire contents of your bedroom to University. Pack only what you need, you can always take more things later in the semester. Make sure to check your accommodation and course information for any other items you need. I would recommend chatting with your flat mates to organise what cooking items you need as you all might bring a full kitchen supply kit that isn’t actually necessary!