Student Sundays: Getting Started

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Hello everyone! Hope you all are well. Today I'm bringing out my first real post in my Student Sundays series. This post is all about some things that you can do just now to prepare for going to university. These tips are really aimed at people who have either confirmed an unconditional place or have confirmed a conditional offer and have selected an insurance choice. These tips are also aimed at people that are going to be moving out for uni. In my home town its really popular for students to live at home and travel to uni but I decided to move out because I wanted to be closer to uni, in the city and have the independence that living on my own offered me. To be honest, there's not really as much prep needed if you'll be living at home but you might find some of this useful anyway! So here are some things that you can do to start getting prepared!

Apply for accomodation - I really cannot stress how important it is not to leave this until the last minute. My university gives out accommodation on a first come first served system so its important to get in there as soon as possible. For accommodation I would really recommend going for self catered. I don't think catered is worth the money and I don't think you get as good an experience either. Also consider whether you need an en suite. I stayed in a shared bathroom accommodation and so did all my friends and we had no complaints. Everyone has different timetables so its not like everyone is trying to use the same bathroom in the morning as people will be waking up at different times. If you are interested in Edinburgh accommodation specifically then I stayed at East Newington Place which was my first choice. My second and third choices were South Clerk Street and Sciennes respectively. 

Join Fresher's Facebook Pages - If you type your university name into Facebook and something like 'Fresher's 2015' you will most likely find a Facebook page with lots of members. Request to join this page and you can get chatting with people who will be doing the same course as you and who will be living in the same accommodation. I met all of my flatmates through this page and some of my best friends from my course. I really recommend doing this! If you are still waiting to see if you've made your conditional then I would suggest joining the page for your hopeful uni and for your firm choice too. You can always leave the page of the uni you don't end up going to.

Apply for finances and speak to your parents - If you're going to be living in halls then you probably are going to have to apply for some form of student loan. I don't know what the exact process for this is in the rest of the UK but for Scottish students you need to apply for SAAS. I think the deadline is around the end of June so you should really do that if you haven't already. Its also a good idea to speak to your parents and see how much they are willing to contribute financially. My parents(mum and stepdad) did not help me out financially at all apart from helping me buy stuff before moving out. My parents are divorced so my dad pays my mum maintenance money, after I moved out he started paying this directly to me and that was all the help I got apart from loans. This may seem a bit harsh to some people but I am 100% supportive of my parent's decision not to financially support me at uni because it has made me a lot more level headed and thrifty. Most people I know at uni are having their parents pay for their accommodation at least for first year. I also worked during my first year which I wouldn't really recommend but sometimes that's not always an option.

Make a list of the things that you will need for moving out - I bought all my things for moving out in June/July and I wouldn't recommend doing this as places will bring out so much more stuff closer to September and often at better prices. But I think it is a good idea to know what you need so that you can budget for it and if you see anything on a really good deal then you can snap it up. I blogged about my list this time last year and you can read that list here. But after actually moving out there are a few things I would add/subtract from that list so I will be blogging about that in a future Student Sunday's blog post.

Book a Meningitis C vaccination - I definitely do not think this is as broadcasted as it should be! If you were born in or after 1995 then it is recommended that you get a booster of the Meningitis C vaccination you got as a child. I didn't know this until last minute and had to rush to fit mine in. It doesn't hurt and you definitely do not want meningitis! That being said, I don't think I've actually heard of anyone at my uni contracting it. Although on the other hand, better safe than sorry. You can find out more information about the vaccine here. If you phone up your doctors surgery they should know what you are talking about and its free.

So those are the things that you can do right now the help prepare for uni! If you would like to know what other topics I will be addressing in this series then you can have a look at last week's post here.

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