For many teenagers, heading off to University is the first chance that they have to discover themselves and to live independently of their family. However, just because you have the chance to make it on your own, it does not mean that you have to cut your parents out completely. In fact, most student’s parents play a very important part in helping them to prepare for University. Here are some tips about how to get ready for student life:
It is important that you create a budget before you head off to University. Know where your money is coming from, and (if you are receiving a student loan) when you will receive it. Make a list of all your fixed outgoings, such a rent, online subscriptions and phone contract, and then work out how much money you have left for variable costs such as food, clothes and socialising. Remember that you will need to buy a TV license if you intend to watch live TV.
If your finances don’t look like they are going to go far enough, you may have to consider getting a part time job. Without a budget that you are (willing and) able to stick to, you might end up blowing all of your budget in the first few weeks, and then find yourself living on nothing but baked beans for the rest of the term. Not only is this an unhealthy way to live, but it will also ruin your uni experience, as you will find yourself being forced to stay in when all of your new friends are out enjoying themselves.
Learn how to cook
Learning how to cook easy meals will help you to survive. Not only is it less expensive than buying a takeaway every night, it is also much healthier. Even if you only know a few recipes at the beginning of term, you will be able to build on this until you can make a whole range of cheap, filling, tasty and healthy meals.
As well as learning how to cook, you should learn some basic food safety tips. Food poisoning can have lasting health consequences, so it is important to serve and store food safely.
Choose suitable accommodation
For most first year students, the University will be able to provide you with support in finding accommodation, if you wish. If you do not want to live in the halls, or if your University cannot find you a place, you’ll need to consider a few things when finding a place – low price is not the most important thing. Look for a place with good public transportation links, including night bus links if possible. Having a long commute to University can take a lot of your time and energy away from studying, and it can also affect your safety. If it is not easy to get home after a night out, you could be putting yourself at risk. Similarly, you should check on the safety and security features at your potential new home. Do the doors and windows have proper locks? Is there a safety light outside the front door? Are there carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors?
Sadly thefts in halls of residence and student accommodation can be quite common. In halls, people often let strangers in through the front door, because they assume that they are friends of the people living there. This gives opportunistic thieves the chance to steal from students’ rooms.