For anyone who is feeling underprepared before beginning their university life, there are certain steps that can be taken to help ease the transition and make it all feel a little less frightening.
Starting to feel stressed or anxious? These are our 10 tips to be best prepared for student life in the North-East.
Set up a student bank account
Get your finances in order from the off. Trust us on this one: it can make all the difference. Be sure to plump for a student account, with free overdrafts, debit and credit cards and various incentives (including railcards, vouchers and more) on offer, and don’t be afraid to shop around. Go online, ask around and do some research to find out which bank is best.
You might have done this already, but if not, think long and hard about what to bring (and, perhaps just as importantly, what not to bring). The temptation is to bring all your stuff along for the ride, but do remember that sometimes less is more.
You might be the proud owner of a kettle, toaster and microwave, but if you’re moving into halls or private student accommodation, you might not need them.
Snap up the must-have student gadgets…
More useful than that microwave? You might find that a laptop comes in handy, whilst phones, iPads and other gadgets and devices can help you to complete assignments on time and remain on top of your workload.
Those who don’t have the latest tech shouldn’t panic, for computers on campus offer an alternative. But with research suggesting that 96% of all students take a laptop to university, you should think about the kit that could make life easier.
… but don’t forget about the essentials
For anyone taking a laptop to university, ensuring appropriate insurance is in place shouldn’t be overlooked. Protecting smartphones, tablets and other valuable items is essential, whilst thinking about money-saving measures such as a travelcard and an NUS Extra card (now known as a TOTUM card) should also be considered.
This might seem a bit boring, but the savings that can be made by careful planning shouldn’t be underestimated.
Learn to cook
Trust us on this: you can’t live on toast and takeaways. You might not have done much cooking prior to leaving home, but it’s never too late to learn. Consider cookbooks and check out YouTube and other online resources for hints, tips and recipe ideas and you could soon find yourself rustling up a treat in your student kitchen.
Save money, eat better and feed all your new-found friends, this is one skill worth having!
Figure out how to make your student loan go further
You might have an overdraft, and a credit card can come in handy, but keeping bank accounts in the black is always the best option for those keen to avoid financial strife.
Student loans are a lifesaver, but don’t be tempted to blow it on life’s luxuries. It doesn’t go as far as you might hope, so do what you can to make your loan last.
Get to grips with all those extra costs
Take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. This might sound like a tired old cliché, but truer words have never been spoken. Research suggests 40% of freshers find it difficult to manage their money.
Get organised, consider all costs and make savings – no matter how small – whenever possible.
Get a job
If you do find yourself a little short on the financial front, getting a job is always a good option. In a shop or behind a bar, the choice is yours, but the extra spending power could make a huge difference.
You should be careful not to neglect your studies, but with a little careful planning, you should be able to balance both and give your bank account a boost.
Don’t get behind with your bills
There’s a great deal to spend your money on as a student, but making sure you have enough to cover your bills should always be a priority. Work out what is included in your rent – and what isn’t – and be sure to set enough aside to cover your costs.
Starting at university can be daunting, but tap into social media and you’ll find that opportunities abound and that you can be part of the community. Get involved on Instagram – and Facebook and Twitter too – and keep up to date with all the latest news and events online.