Preparing yourself for university can be a daunting task; more often than not, you’re off to a whole new part of the country all on your own, with the expectation to live a successfully independent life. No pressure, right!?
It can be daunting once you arrive, and that’s completely natural. You’re undergoing a lot of change all at once, and it’s understandable that it’ll be pretty scary; but just remember, this is the start of the rest of your life! What better way to channel the excitement you do have, into preparing yourself the best you can for this crazy change?
1. Homeware and Kitchenware
I saw a lot of my friends packing expensive homeware for their trip to university. Imagine Cath Kidston kitchenware, bedware, the lot. I thought this was pretty naïve of them, and I still do to this day. Realistically, university culture is at its highest during freshers week and first year in general, so splashing out on expensive items can be money down the drain. My tip is to buy cheap; I went to Wilko’s for my stuff, and it lasted me around 2 years. I’ll be glad never to see it again!
2. Making Friends
Making friends can be the most terrifying prospect of all. I was convinced that I wouldn’t make any, and of course this was ridiculous. University really is a place where you meet your friends for life – I couldn’t imagine life without them! If you’re in halls then you truly have nothing to worry about, but if you’re in private accommodation / at home / struggling to find friends, the best way to meet new people is to trawl the university list of societies and sports. In my first year, I was a member of 4 clubs and societies, and it was the best decision I ever made in terms of keeping busy, trying new things and making friends.
3. Save money!
Freshers week can be a little expensive in terms of tickets to events at Walkabout / Pryzm / SU Festival, etc, so saving money for it can be a huge help! This week is designed for you to have the best and most eventful time possible, so naturally with the more money saved, the better it gets! But don’t worry if you’re a little hard off – there’s plenty of places with lower entry prices and fantastic drinks deals for you to get your hands on.
4. Find Opportunities!
The weeks before university serves as the prime time to question what kind of person you want to be at university. Do you want to reinvent yourself, or try something new? Do you want to continue a lifelong hobby, or simply make the most of every opportunity possible? At Plymouth University, there are so many incredible opportunities; free swimming at The Plymouth Life Centre, a ton of free art shows and exhibitions, and cheap activities such as ‘Give It A Go’ sessions held in partnership with MGA and UPSU! There’s even nearby theatres that I’m always frequenting as a part of my writing, which offer student pricing for their tickets. The best thing to do in these weeks is to find where all of these fantastic opportunities are hosted. I find mine at:
Pensinsula Arts (Exhibitions): https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/your-university/peninsula-arts/exhibitions
UPSU What’s On: https://www.upsu.com/ents/
UPSU A-Z Societies: https://www.upsu.com/societies/a-zsocieties/
UPSU A-Z Sports: https://www.upsu.com/sports/sportsclubs/a-z/
UPSU Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/upsunion/
Barbican Theatre: https://www.barbicantheatre.co.uk
Theatre Royal Plymouth: https://www.theatreroyal.com