Sarah Hazelwood

A guide to starting uni

Moving away from home and starting university is one of life’s biggest challenges. Sarah's put together some simple steps so you can stay ahead of the game and really start enjoying your new life.

Embrace change

Enjoy every second; you’ve worked hard to be where you are. Be yourself and more importantly be open-minded about others – join in with whatever you can, it’s the best way to get to know people and your new surroundings. 

Get a Student Union card

This is your passport to student life, so make sure you get yours. Your university will send you details of where and when you need to register. The card will get you into all sorts of places, give you discounts at high street stores, fast food chains and most importantly grant you access to the Student Union.

Take care of yourself

Fresher’s flu is rife this time of year. New people, a new environment and a demanding social schedule can wear your immune system down. Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C and sign-up to the local doctor, just in case you should need them.

Manage your money

We know you want to spend the next few years having the time of your life, but your funds won’t last forever. It’s important to work out now exactly how much you’ve got to spend each term and make sure you’ve got enough money for rent, food, bills and nights out. If you’re ever left short, tell someone.

Look after your stuff

With so much going on it can be easy to leave your room unlocked. Make sure all your windows and doors are locked whenever you’re away, to keep your possessions safe. It’s also worth checking your valuables are covered, to avoid any expense, should they get lost or stolen.

Make the most of the freebies

During Fresher’s week people will be throwing their branded goods at you. Take it all – especially food and vouchers – it’s good to stock up and save some pennies on essential items.

Stay in touch with family

Moving away from home is as big a change for your family as it is for you and they’ll no doubt want to know you’re getting on ok. Try and check in with them every few days to let them know you’re safe and well.

Think ahead

Students are quick to start looking for their year two accommodation. The best places get snapped up quickly, so as soon as you know whom you want to live with and where, get searching. Always have a viewing day and night – it’ll give you a good idea of what the area is like around the clock.

A place to call home

Always check the condition of the houses you’re looking around, as it’s a good indicator of the landlord’s attitude to it. If the house looks unloved, it’s likely you might be too. Try and talk to the current tenants to get the low-down on the house and the landlord to really understand what you’re getting yourself into.