How to prepare for first year – The DOs and DONTs

University is such a new experience for first years to undertake so it can be challenging to know what is…

University is such a new experience for first years to undertake so it can be challenging to know what is required to bring, especially if you are the first in your family to go!

As someone who had an older sister who went to uni before me, I was able to use a mixture of her advice and some online research to decide what to bring with me, so, I thought I would share my advice with you all!

What DO you need to do to prepare?

Contact who you will be living with

My top piece of advice is to try and get into contact with your flatmates if you are going to live in student accommodation, or your housemates if you are moving to private accommodation for your first year!

Facebook group chats are a great way to connect with people who will also be studying at the university and many people start up chats for specific building accommodations such as 179 High Street or Danesgate House. Within these chats, people usually start polls whereby you can ‘vote’ for which flat you are in so it is easy to find who you will be living with over the academic year!

If you are in contact with people you can also arrange what kitchen appliances you will need, for instance, if you all show up to the flat with a new kettle and toaster this will be unnecessary!

But, if you can all arrange to split the cost of one or two items, or all chip in and buy something different, but useful, this will be a much more cost-effective method for you all!

Spend time with family and friends

As I was coming up to start university, I was beginning to worry I would miss my friends and family, so making sure I spent quality time with everyone I was afraid I would miss helped me ensure I had nice memories to leave to uni with.

Learn how to cook

As someone who has never really enjoyed cooking and ignored this skill before I went to uni, I made sure to google a few recipes that weren’t too expensive so I knew I would be able to cook something different each day of the week. As I started to cook more for myself I began to really enjoy it!

What you DON’T need to do to prepare?

Buying your textbooks

Some people feel the need to spend lots of money on textbooks for their courses which are on their reading lists. My advice would be to utilise the library as there are physical and online copies of most books to make the reading lists more accessible to students.

If buying a textbook is something you want to do, I suggest waiting until the lectures begin so you can see which will be the main textbook for that module, so you are not spending all your money on a book with only one relevant chapter to your lecture material.

Buying a printer

I thought I would need to buy a printer when coming to uni, however, the university library has these facilities so it can be easier to use this instead.

Many uni accommodations have smaller bedrooms, so a printer could take up space you might otherwise need.

Bringing all your clothes with you

Many accommodations have limited storage space so your clothes may end up taking up a lot of space. When joining uni in September/October, you could bring the clothes you will need until going home for the Christmas break and then start to swap out seasonal clothes when required to save space.

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