Preparing For University

Preparing For University

When you start to plan for going to uni there’s one important thing you need to remember: Lists are the key to everything. Before you do anything else you need to write a list of things you need to do. For example, you’ll need to write a list of the people/places you need to contact regarding finances, accommodation, your degree and your enrolment. This is really important because if anything goes wrong, and I can guarantee you at some point something will, you’ll be able to immediately contact who you need to to sort it. It makes things so much easier to be able to sort things out immediately.

So, this is only a guide to what you’re going to need, and each person requires different things. This is, in a way, a list of lists. Each part of the list is going to require you to do more research and be more specific to your own circumstance and probably make another list of things to do but it’s a good place to start.

I love lists. 

 

Finances

 

I don’t know that much about this but I do know it’s important to deal with the basics, and get help from parents or some other knowledgeable adult about the bits you don’t understand. Also, a good general tip, don’t do anything unless someone who knows what they’re doing tells you you’re right. It’ll save problems, and when it comes to finances it’s not easy to alter mistakes and they can prove to be very, very problematic. (Take it from someone who spent weeks trying to sort out a tiny problem on SAAS, every little mistake can have HUGE consequences) So a basic list of things you’re going to need to do:

 

  • Make a bank account. (do some research and see what deals you can get. If you, like me, have not got the slightest idea about bank accounts, make sure someone you know does. There are lots of useful websites to help with this too, such as http://www.uswitch.com/current-accounts/student-finance-guide/ )
  • Apply for your loan. (make sure you know EXACTLY what you’re doing for this. Thousands of students are applying for loans and making mistakes and it will take an eternity to fix problems.)
  • When you get confirmation of your loan and are told the amount, try and work out how much money you have to spend each month and how much you are going to have after taking off your rent.

 

*I’m sure there’s much more to it than this, but this is all I did/remember doing myself. As I said, if you can get help with it, do.

  

Accommodation

 

When it comes to your accommodation you’re going to need to

 

  • Research the different Uni accommodation. Each uni will have different types of accommodation; some may be catered, some may have en-suite toilets and so they will cost different amount. The amount you are willing to pay will obviously affect which accommodations you can apply for.
  • Write a list of what you’re going to need to take. Work out what you’re going to have to buy and if you have enough money to get it straight away I would advise you do it because I’ve realised there’s this little fairy that comes into my bank account if I leave money in it for too long, and it turns that money into alcohol and keyrings (don’t ask). Each accommodation will provide you with different things when you move in, some won’t provide you with anything. So, you’ll need to find out the specifics, make a list and stick to it. I’ll put a general list up later on the post, so it might help.
  • Prepare yourself for not getting into the accommodation you had first applied for. There’s a high demand in most Uni’s and it’s often a first come first serve system.
  • Also, you should try and come to terms with the fact that your flat mates might not be the perfect people you had hoped for. (Then again, you might be lucky, it’s all chance.)

 

Your Degree

  • I’m assuming that by now you have decided on what you wish to study, and that your degree is what you want to do etc. So, firstly, all Uni’s are different in the amount of first year subjects you study. For Glasgow, you have to take three from within the same school. The advice from most people is to take new subjects and widen your range of knowledge, but you should also keep in mind that you should chose something that you know/think you would enjoy doing. Don’t take maths if you’ve always hated it, and don’t take theology if you hate religion, for example.
  • This is VERY IMPORTANT. As soon as you get your reading list, start reading!! Even if you started a year in advance I promise you there still wouldn’t be enough time for you to read everything before you’re studying it! So make a decent head start, particularly if your degree is literature based. Also, something I’m learning now, if you have time, do your second term’s reading in the first. It’s SO much to do all during the Christmas holidays!!
  • Research your degree. Find out exactly what they’re looking for. Find out about examinations, essays and tutorial information. Find out how your learning is structured.
  • Research what marks you need to progress onto the next year of your course.
  • Most courses will have a list of recommended websites. If you can find this before you go, try and have a look at them and, even if you can’t, at least save them to a folder in your favourites bar, they’ll come in handy at some point!

 

Your Enrolment

 

  • Again, each Uni is different for this. You should make sure you know exactly what you have to do by visiting their website.
  • It’s important you keep EVERY bit of documentation you have. You never know what strange things the uni will request. Make a folder with all your letters, emails, birth certificate etc. (I may have a list later on…)

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