First Year Prep: The Basics

First thing is first, congratulations! You have passed you’re a-levels, which is the hard part. Now it is time for you to gain your own independence, starting with you finding a roof for your head at University. Like most first year students, if you are planning to like in a Halls of Residence you need to apply early in order to get a decent new place.

Applying late means you are more than likely going to end up in a not-so-great place that has not been updated since the 70s, like the dreaded Carnatic Halls. Although, do not worry too much if you end up staying in the older halls as they are not that bad and they do serve a purpose. Also, living in any halls is a great way to dive into the deep end to make new friends.

Okay, so you have found somewhere to live, now you need to commute to and from campus. Again, this will depend on where your halls are situated. If you’re on campus or within walking distance you are lucky; if not, you just need to check the local and student service buses, most of which regularly make the journey to and from campus. Additional advice… get to the bus stops early to avoid the bus being overcrowded and having to wait for the next, which will make you late.

Great, you not only have a home but you can also get to your lectures. Next, keeping up with your nutrition (eating). I suggest learning some basic recipes or using online sites to find simple, quick and cheap meals you can make. Also, do not shop last minute for the night, be a real adult and buy your food weekly for those nights you really cannot be bothered to go out.

Another tip… learn how to use a washing machine, yeah they are all different but they are essentially the same; add power/tablet, pick a setting (usually just choose cottons and a temperature) and press the start button. Sure you can wear your clothes multiple times until you can take it home for mum/dad to do but there is no time like the present to learn life skills.

Before moving to your accommodation you should make a check list of what you want to pack, thus avoiding the long haul back and forth for a forgotten item. Also, bring tons of photos and keepsakes to aid any feeling of homesickness.

So you are all set and ready to move, however, if you are worried about being thrown into classes with hundreds of other students and not knowing anyone you can check Facebook for your University’s Psychology or PsychSoc page and start talking to others who are in the same boat. If you are lucky, there might be others that are not only in lectures with you but are also living in the same halls!

Finally, a common question, “Do I need to buy the books on my reading list?”. The answer depends on a couple of things but the best advice is to wait until the first of each module lectures. If a lecturer of a particular module emphasises a book’s importance (you will need it for exams) and there are not many copies in the library, it might be worth buying.

Although books can be costly, there are usually book sales in the department and Amazon is a great place for cheaper options also, you do not usually need the newest edition. Books are never a waste of money as you will more than likely use them throughout your degree and at the end of the day you can usually sell them on for the same as what you paid for them.

I hope this helps and good luck!

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