Starting university is exciting, but in January there’s a long way to go before September starts and your new course begins. Whilst that does seem like ages away, there is still a few more things to consider doing, and I highly recommend doing them.
Attend an open day
With new students applying to new courses for 2018, the universities will be organising open days. Open days are a great opportunity for students to attend the university and not only find out more about their chosen course, but to also discover the campus and the local area. Whilst I stayed pretty local to my hometown, I still attended an open day, as I had never been to that area before. The open days are very informative, telling you everything you need to know, from what’s expected of you on your course to where you can visit the best restaurants in the evenings.
Student finance is definitely something you should be thinking about. It’s recommended that the earlier you get your student finance application in the better. Check on your university web page, or keep checking your emails, as you university can advise you on when is best to apply for student finance, and where to go when applying. You definitely want to make sure there are no unexpected problems once you’ve enrolled in university, as your student loan is very important, especially in your first few weeks in your university campus and you have rent to pay!
If you’re staying at home during university, you don’t need to worry about setting up student accommodation. However, in your first year, halls go quick, and applications need to get in fast. Your university will offer a selection of rooms that are on campus, or at least very close to campus, and you need to factor in how much these rooms cost and whether or not student halls are for you. Going back to the open day, it is important to attend, as you may even get to see these halls and decide in person if the halls are for you.
Research your topic
You may think you definitely know what you want to do, but have you considered that there may be a course that is more tailored to your specialist subject? Consider you want to go into nursing. Would you rather do mental health nursing, or focus on midwifery? It’s important that you check every subject available to you, and decide if one course is better. There are five choices, and you don’t need to panic if you’ve submitted your application with only one or two choices. Whilst universities decide on whether or not to give you a place, you are able to keep adding choices. So don’t rule everything out just yet. Keep looking at what’s available to you.
Get some experience, if you can
Whilst you will be gaining valuable knowledge and hopefully valuable experience on your course, these next few months are a great opportunity to truly gain experience in your chosen field. If you’re studying journalism, why not set up a blog, if you haven’t already, and get posting some articles? It’s a great thing to have for when your interview is scheduled, if of course you are required for an interview, and it’s an even better thing to have in nine months time at the beginning of your course, as you are already a step ahead. It shows enthusiasm to have experience, and it will enhance your CV.
One final thing: keep in touch with your uni.
Don’t be afraid to email your chosen university with any questions you may have. The staff available to help are used to answering every question, and will do everything they can to ensure you have enough knowledge. Going to university can feel like a big step, but there is plenty of support and enough help to get you going, and keep you enthused for what is to come.