5 Things to Remember Before Going to University This September

Whether you are heading off to university for the first time, or you’re returning for your second, third, or fourth year, there are lots of things you need to remember! Preparing for university can be overwhelming, so we’ve gathered a quick list of some useful things you should remember before going back. Let’s dive right in.

1. Cooking Essentials

Transitioning from home-cooked meals to fending for yourself in the kitchen can be a shock. But with a little preparation, you’ll soon find yourself navigating the kitchen with ease.

Equipment and Supplies: A key part of cooking is having the right tools. Start with the basics: a frying pan, a saucepan, a baking tray, a sharp knife, a chopping board, and utensils like a spatula and serving spoons. Don’t forget kitchen essentials like can openers, peelers, measuring cups and spoons, and storage containers for leftovers. These are not extravagant investments, but they’ll make your cooking experience a lot easier. IKEA and Amazon have some great value options to get you started!

Learn Basic Recipes: Before you dive headfirst into your university life, arm yourself with a repertoire of easy, healthy recipes. Learn to cook dishes like spaghetti bolognese, fried rice, stir-fry vegetables, omelets, and baked chicken. Knowing how to cook these basic meals will ensure you have a safety net of dishes you can prepare when you’re low on time or energy.

Meal Planning: A skill often overlooked by many students is meal planning. Planning your meals for the week not only saves time and energy, but also helps you to maintain a balanced diet. It aids in avoiding food waste, making your grocery shopping more cost-effective. Whilst you don’t really have to meal plan before you head to uni, it’s useful to bare in mind so you are prepared when you get there!

2. Plan your Freshers Week

Freshers Week can be a whirlwind of activity, offering numerous opportunities to make friends, join societies, and settle into your new environment. Here’s how to make the most of it:

Book Tickets to Events: Freshers is the busiest time of the year at university for events. Many clubnights require tickets in advance to get in, and booking them early can help you save big money. If you are looking for free events in London or Glasgow, don’t forget to book free tickets to our Freshers Festival events in September, open to any student. They are going to be epic!

Maintain a Balance: While the excitement of Freshers Week can make you want to sign up for every society and attend every event, it’s crucial to remember that balance is key. Prioritize your commitments, ensuring you have time for self-care and rest amidst all the fun. This also goes for your wallet; you don’t want to splash out and spend all your money in the first week. Take some time to cook for yourself or spend a night in so you don’t overspend.

Safety First: It’s important to enjoy Freshers Week, but safety should never be compromised. Keep your personal belongings secure, don’t accept drinks from strangers, and always have a plan for getting back home safely. We’ve heard plenty of horror stories with students getting their drinks spiked, and it’s important you stay alert and safe!

3. Insurance

It might not always be something you’d think about, but having insurance at university is important. Not only can it save you a lot of money in the long run, but it can help give you peace of mind so you can concentrate on the fun aspects of university life! There are many Optional Benefits to pick from, and you can find out more about all your options here.

Student Insurance: It’s wise to ensure your belongings are protected against theft, loss, or accidental damage. Hopefully, this would never happen, but it’s useful to make sure you are covered. You might need to extend the standard cover with Optional Benefits to ensure those expensive items are covered such as your laptop, phone, bicycle, or clothes.

Accommodation Liability: It could be worth protecting yourself against the loss or accidental damage of household goods rented under a tenancy agreement. Student life can be hectic, and things can often be accidently damaged, particularly in a big student house!

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4. Budgeting

Being in control of your finances for the first time can be a steep learning curve. For more detailed tips and tricks, don’t forget to check out our complete student money guide here.

Create a Budget: Budgeting can seem daunting, but it’s easier than you think. Start by identifying your sources of income (student loans, part-time work, parental support) and list your expenses (rent, groceries, study materials, socializing, etc.). This will help you see where your money is going and where you might need to cut back.

Student Discounts: It’s surprising how little changes can add up to substantial savings. Buy second-hand textbooks, take advantage of student discounts, cook meals at home, and limit your takeouts. The likes of Student Beans and UNiDAYS have some great discounts you should sign up for!

Emergency Fund: An emergency fund is a safety net for unexpected expenses. Try to save a little bit each month, even if it’s a small amount. This will give you peace of mind and financial security.

5. Study Stuff

Last but not least, let’s talk about academics. After all, it’s the primary reason you’re going to university.

Academic Supplies: Ensure you have the necessary stationery and note-taking materials. If your course requires specific equipment or software, make sure you have these ready before the start of term.

Reading: Lots of universities provide reading lists for your course before you attend. Whilst this isn’t compulsary, it can be useful, particularly if it’s a fairly new subject for you, or there are certain areas you know you need to work on. Don’t worry though, you’ll be taught everything you need to know whilst you are there anyway!

Time Management: University life can be a balancing act. Develop a system for managing your time effectively, be it a physical planner, digital calendar, or a time management app. Prioritize your tasks, and don’t forget to schedule time for relaxation and socializing.

Heading off to university this September might seem like a leap into the unknown, but remember, preparation is key. By taking these points into account, you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful and enjoyable university experience. Good luck and have fun!