There is a sense of freedom that comes with going to university. University is a phenomenal experience, but it also comes with a lifestyle change. You are responsible for everything that occurs within your University career including whether you attend your lectures, how you manage your finances, social life, and mental health.
Here are 4 ways to prepare for university
1. How to prepare financially
As money management isn’t taught in education, university is a great time to get to grasps with your personal finances.
If you have a part-time job during the summer then saving a good proportion of your pay will be beneficial at the start of your academic year. As student finance can take a while to process, putting some money aside at the beginning can still allow you to buy the necessary reading materials you need and enjoy your fresher’s week.
When your student finance is processed, it is very tempting to spend it all at once. However, avoid this temptation to stop yourself from running into financial trouble. Spending borrowed money on clothes, frequent takeaways and nights out don’t seem as important when you can’t afford to pay for accommodation or tuition fees. Create a budget for yourself at the beginning of term till your next student finance payment is processed. The last thing you want to do is to be borrowing off your mates, so set a budget.
You can breakdown your budget by working out weekly &/ monthly allowances – such as food, travel, & clothes.
Take the opportunity to open a student bank account with an interest-free overdraft, and look around for a suitable limit. Apart from trying to not go over your overdraft limit, try to keep the overdraft for emergencies.
2. How to prepare academically
Studying at university is a different experience from school that is compulsory as well as sixth form/college. Assignments are given to you and you are expected to manage your time and resources to ensure it is done within the given time period. If you don’t take the necessary steps to get work done then you may be graded with a 0 which may affect your overall result at the end of the year. Take responsibility for your learning, studying and production of work.
If you want to save money on new books, there are many ways to do this. Find students who are in the year above you and ask them if they are willing to sell their textbooks to you at discounted price. Some students may even be nice enough to give it to you for free. Also, try to search for copies of your textbooks online via amazon, eBay and other student book selling websites. There are usually copies available in your university library so reserving it in advance may be a great idea. Another great tool to use is academic journals, there are a ton of academic journals to choose from online, and you can normally login through your University institution.
3. How to prepare mentally and emotionally
Taking care of your emotional and mental health whilst at university is as vital as achieving your degree. When it comes to taking care of your mental health and emotions at university, there isn’t a one size fits all method. Find out what works best for you when it comes to taking time to recuperate. It may be writing your thoughts down, speaking to others or listening to music. Ensure you always find time to look after your well-being.
There are also options to speak to student services and make use of the counselling services available. Speaking to a professional or someone you trust may help you express your feelings in a clearer manner. The most important factor is that you do speak to someone in order to keep a healthy mind-set.
4. How to prepare socially
Socialising is an important part of university life, fresher’s week is a great time to meet new people and join societies. Joining societies can also give you a break away from studies and assignments, and if you don’t fancy any of societies presented to you, you can always create your own.
University gives you the opportunity to improve your business acumen as you learn how to network and speak to professionals at events such as careers day. In addition to this, you may also meet your future business partners at university so a diversified network can also be helpful after university.
This post was written by Freda.