In the first part of getting ready for university we looked at textbooks, important university information and how to spend your summer before autumn term starts. In this second instalment will look at documents and processes you should adopt to ensure the beginning of your higher education journey and getting ready for university comes with ease.
Although this is a tip for university preparation, it is also a tip for everyday life! Organisation is key to success in whatever form it chooses to appear! From student timetables to your student information being organised will only make things easier later on (trust us). Save every email or correspondence you receive regarding UCAS, Clearing, Adjustment, Student Finance or your university – anything that is in any way connected to student life. Universities usually have their own email operating system for their students, but if you haven’t received this yet your own email will do fine. Create folders for each area and keep everything – because having to scroll through an untidy inbox looking for a very important email will only infuriate you later (again, trust us). Keeping correspondence is also similar to an insurance policy, if you have everything you have been sent then you will have all the information you will every need.
Start packing slowly
Never leave it to the night before to start packing your life away. Going to university is a big choice and if you have chosen to move away then packing all of your things will take longer than an hour. Even the speediest packers will forget something! If you have a spare room or a place you can start putting things that you won’t need now but you will at university – maybe cutlery and bedding – you can begin the process slowly and surely. It will also keep your mind active to understanding that you are moving away and think about it now and again, you’ll surely have eureka moments when you remember you need to take that really important [insert object] which you can’t live without!
Once you start packing and have a few weeks to evaluate what you are taking and then be able to condense your luggage. As most of us always over pack and the only thing it will do is annoy you as you try, and probably fail, when you attempt to fit it in your small student room or having to just take it back home with you a few months later.
Make lists and check them twice
Lists are fantastic! And that isn’t a weird geeky thing to say either! Make a list of things you need to take, things you need to compete before you start, and a list of what you need to sort out before you go. A physical checklist will ensure you remember what you need to do before you start the course and have an even higher success rate of them actually being done!
Make a note of important dates
There is a reason why they are called ‘important dates’. Important dates might be a deadline for student finance, enrolling on to your course, picking your modules, moving in day, fresher’s week and the day you get paid – very, very important. Write these dates in your diary so you don’t forget about them. Also note your direct debits and bills and when they are due and a daily budget. With these things in place it will hopefully make your life a bit easier!
Ensure your student finance application is in process
It can be really tough to understand the entire process of student finance from application to declaration, but if you have already have the ball rolling then it will be less of a headache later on. If you haven’t already applied for student finance (even if you don’t know what university you are attending) do it as soon as you can. You can change your university, accommodation and any details later on results day or after Clearing if you need to. Ensure you have your basics credentials on your account and begin the application process.
Understand your different options
People change their minds every day and its okay if you do too. No matter if you change your mind about your module, course, degree or university on results day or day 1 or day 37 of your course. Things change. If this does happen, find out your point of contact to know how to sort out your issue. If you’re unhappy about your course then contact your personal tutor or course administrator. If you don’t want to go to university altogether you can withdraw your application or place by contacting the university, UCAS and student finance. There are other options out there for you. Clearing and Adjustment offer students the chance to change their degree or university based on their results, so don’t feel disheartened or trapped due to your A Level grade results. But remember, that there are also alternatives to attending university.
Be productive with your time
Even though we have told you to enjoy your time off that doesn’t mean to become a sloth or a couch potato – it isn’t that good for you even if it feels as if it should be! Keep your mind active by reading, volunteering, reading textbooks or taking up a summer job. Summer jobs are great for students wishing to save a bit of money before university, maybe to help with your bills, or to help you during the year or to pay for Jagerbombs throughout Fresher’s – every little helps!
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