As you are waiting to start university in September, think ahead of time about what you can do to make the most of your summer and create a check-list to help you stay on top of things. If you don't know where to start from, make sure to read the following advices on how to prepare for university and settle into your new life without feeling stressed or pressured!
Buy your student essentials
Being a student in a city like London will allow you to take advantage of discounted transportation options: if you’re going to take the train or tube on a regular basis, buying a 16-25 railcard could help you save 1/3 on rail fares throughout Great Britain.
Even if you have your own car and you think you might not use public transportation, it is definitely worth looking into buying one as soon as the term starts. The card costs only £70 pounds and lasts three years. You should also look into buying a TOTUM Card for further student discounts on entertainment, eating out, clothes, travel and more.
Follow your university’s social media accounts
You think you’ve done all the research on your university’s website, and your programme’s expectations? Now it’s time to follow your university on every social media account, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, and get a close feel of the community you will be joining in September.
Look for all the individual accounts related to academic departments, sports societies, clubs, accommodation, and keep up-to-date with all the news and posts they share throughout summer. As an example, visit our St Mary's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and get inspired from our latest posts!
Familiarise yourself with the area
Take the time to locate the closest train station and all the local shops, restaurants, coffee shops and supermarkets near your university. If you aren’t able to visit the uni’s neighbourhood before the first week of classes, get in contact with a few student ambassadors and collect some thoughts on their favourite spots on campus, best restaurants nearby or sports facilities they like to use. And why not looking for a virtual tour of the university and its surroundings?
Land a part-time job
If you’re concerned about student living costs, look for part-time jobs that you think would suit your interests and fit around your studies. Having a part-time job shows that you’re keen on getting extracurricular experience and are able to manage your own budget. Plus, working part-time during university looks great on your resume!
If you can’t find a student job on the website, ask one of your lecturers whether your department is looking for an assistant – always keep an eye out for opportunities and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Becoming a student ambassador is another great way to get involved with on-campus events: you'll meet new people, gain leadership skills and be able to make an impact at your university!
Make the most of freshers’ week
Freshers’ week will probably be one of the most exciting weeks of your time as a university student and is a great opportunity for you to start creating lifelong connections.
The week is designed to help you ease into your new community and get to know your campus, as well as your lecturers, societies and clubs you might be interested in joining. At this time you won't even have to worry about assignments, so enjoy yourself and be social! Keep also in mind that signing up to a society doesn’t automatically make you one of its members, but it allows you to get a closer look on the activities involved.
As long as you stay organised and keep a checklist outlining all the tasks that you need to do, you’ll be able to tackle your first week with enthusiasm and positivity. So get out of your comfort zone, explore all your options and make new friends!