Whether you’re going to university for the first time, switching to a different course or doing your Masters, there are a lot of things you need to think about before you start your degree.
University is supposed to be one of the best experiences of your life, but it’s normal to feel apprehensive – especially if you don’t know anyone going to the same uni or doing the same course as you.
Here at CARO Lettings, we understand how daunting it can be. That’s why we thought we’d offer a few tips to help you prepare for your first semester and make the most of your uni experience.
1. Arrange your student accommodation
Finding somewhere to live while studying at university should be at the top of your to-do list.
Most first-year students opt to live in halls of residence that are managed by the uni – meaning you’ll be closer to the campus and find it easier to meet new people, who could potentially become lifelong friends.
However, privately rented housing or halls, like our student accommodation in Liverpool, are ideal if you’d like to live with a group of friends. We have flat sizes of 3-9, 12 and 14 and all our student lets come with large communal spaces and well-equipped kitchen facilities, which is perfect for making new friends and socialising.
If you’re planning on studying at Liverpool University, Hope or John Moores, and yet to find student accommodation in Liverpool city centre, be sure to arrange a viewing today.
2. Get your finances in order
Admittedly, sorting out your finances isn’t the most exciting task when preparing for university – but it’s crucial.
The first step is to open up a student bank account. Most of the major banks offer these with loads of incentives (e.g. discounted travel, Amazon Prime membership and subscriptions). Our best advice is to choose a bank with 0% interest overdrafts and always read the small print, as there may be daily charges if you exceed the arranged overdraft.
Before the first semester, you’ll also need to apply for student finance. The finance company will calculate how much funding you’re entitled to, taking into account any family allowances and your part-time income. It can be a lengthy process, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time.
3. Decide what to take
Many students make the mistake of packing everything bar the kitchen sink, only to discover there isn’t enough room to house it all at their student accommodation.
Start by finding out what facilities are available at your accommodationand what will be provided. This will save you from making any unnecessary purchases and allow you to take the essentials only.
If you’re going to be taking any electronics or gadgets to uni with you, it’s a good idea to insure them beforehand, in case they break or are stolen.
It’s also important not to forget to pick up the little things – like stationery, cleaning products and pain relief, as you can bet you’ll be needing these in the first semester.
Having photographs of loved ones can help to curb homesickness. Either bring your printed photos to uni with you or take advantage of apps such as FreePrints and have your images delivered to your door.
We allow you to hang frames on the walls at our student accommodation in Liverpool using Command strips (rather than tape or blu-tack), or you can display them on your desk.
4. Familiarise yourself with the surroundings
Moving away to university can be daunting, especially if you don’t know the area like the back of your hand.
Ideally, before the first semester, you should visit Liverpool and explore what this wonderful city has to offer. You’re sure to stumble across quaint restaurants that are perfect for birthday meals, and takeaway shops that are just the ticket on your walk home from a night out in town.
It’s also helpful to find out where the nearest bus stops and train stations are, as well as local shops and GP surgeries.
Though you could take your family and friends from home, arranging trips with the people you’ll be staying at student accommodation with is a great idea. You’ll be able to get to know one another whilst navigating your way around the bustling city safely.
5. Learn to cook
If there’s one thing you’re sure to miss at uni, it’s your parents’ home cooking.
When your tummy is rumbling and you’re craving some tasty food, you could have a takeaway delivered to your student accommodation in Liverpool – but neither your bank balance nor waistline will thank you!
Instead, ask if you can help to make your favourite meals while you’re still at home. This way, you’ll be able to whip up delicious dishes when you move away to uni.
You’ll also find loads of simple student recipes online – you just need the basic culinary skills.
Want to know more?
Unsure what you need to take with you to uni? Keen to find out more about the facilities available at our student accommodation in Liverpool?
Our team, here at CARO Lettings, is always on hand to help and will be more than happy to share their expertise.