Friday, 7 September 2012

Starting at Uni – the essentials!

A summer of waitings: 
  • Waiting for your A level results,
  • Waiting for the university’s decision,
  • Waiting for student finance to be sorted
  • Waiting to see whether you got the accommodation you wanted. 

As it all becomes a distant memory you are busy preparing to start your new life as a uni student. How ready do you feel to start meeting new people, to live somewhere different, to learn new skills, to find your way round a great big campus, to manage your own money and cook your own meals?

You may have quite a mixture of emotions - nervousness, excitement, curiosity and  a rising sense of panic even. Well, we are looking forward to welcoming you and expect you to feel a bit lost and confused.  However, you will be amazed at how quickly you will settle in, find your way around and meet like-minded people. Just ask.

Attending university is a life changing experience. You have worked hard to get here and the amount you will get out of your experience will be directly proportional to the amount you put in. “Moving in weekend” is a great time to begin making friends. Freshers week is full of great social activities while the course induction is really important to help you understand the structure of your course, where you need to be and when, and to get to meet your tutors.

During a quiet time working here on the reception desk we put our heads together to come up some ideas to answer the question “As a current student with lots of experience behind you, what would have been the most valuable advice for you to take when you first started?

Junior said “Make sure you have everything you need for your accommodation and learn to cook the top five student meals”
We began to compile a list of everything that would come in handy but halfway through we discovered a brilliant web-site that does packs of student essentials called Click2campus  (  We checked the list of the essentials pack for £99 and it had everything we had written down except drawing pins (to put up all those pictures and posters) and an iron. Even if you don’t get the kit you can use it as a guide to stock up. The other things we thought to be sure you stock up on are:

  • Clothes washing powder
  • Drawing pins
  • Laptop
  • TV (but don’t forget you will need to arrange a licence)
  • Washing up liquid
  • Cleaning cloths

Food staples:
  • Teabags, coffee
  • Sugar
  • Oil (for cooking and salads)
  • Eggs
  • Pepper, salt, herbs, spices
  • Spreads (margarine, butter)
  • Jam, peanut butter, marmite (Vegemite is you are an Aussie like me!)
  • Baked beans

Avneet ‘s advice is to spend as much time as possible with your peers.  Your parents may be in deep mourning at you deserting them but you will not do them or yourself any favours by going back home every weekend.  You will not really feel that you are settled in one place or the other as you pack up every Friday to go home then unpack again every Monday – what a faff!  You will miss out on getting out and about in London, socialising with your fellow students, and really immersing yourself in the whole experience.  That first term of finding friends and building relationships is really important because before you know it you will have to get stuck into the serious business of group work, researching for essays, and studying for exams. That is where all those lovely friends you made come into their own as you moan about too much work,  battle away in the library trying to find that elusive book or paper and then gather together to celebrate each other’s successes and surviving your first year.

That time goes so fast.  It is precious – enjoy it!

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