University. For me it was a big deal since I had to move countries in order to study my desired course. But I know that if I was to stay in Ireland I would be stressed too therefore I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my tips and advice on how to get ready for the next big step: University!!!
LEARN TO COOK
If you are like myself and moved into a flat with people you don't know; the chances are that you will have to learn how to cook before coming to university. Why? You cannot possibly live off pizza and takeaways for your entire university life!! I know you get discounts and offers, but you need to get your 5-a-day and this will require you to cook a bit. To make it easier for yourself you can ask one of our flat mates if they want to cook with you, or you can take turns. There is many possibilities. And remember... Internet exists and you can ring your parents whenever you need help. I'm sure they would be glad to share their ideas with you.
Organisation and planning is the key. You have to research and plan what you need to bring with you in terms of living and university stationary essentials. Some courses will send you a list of things you will need throughout the year; others won't, so it is important that you do some research yourself. Have notebooks, pens and essential things that you think you'll need for the first day of university. Also, buy yourself a planner or a diary because you will need it.
SAVE UP MONEY
Money. Probably the most important thing when it comes to University. Please, don't rely on your Student Finance loan as in my case it didn't even cover the cost of my accommodation. Try to save up some money before you go to university. You have a part time job? Perfect! Stay in on that Friday night when everyone else is going out. Say no when you want to order a £10 meal for yourself. Try to say no to yourself and start saving up money because it won't be that easy once you start University. Everyone will be looking for jobs; and there will be people with bigger experience.
I know this might sound simple for me to say but if you are only in University for 2 or 3 days a week you can get yourself a part time job! Check the local stores, restaurants and research online. I'm sure you will find something that will suit you. Most Universities also offer their students jobs on the campus so find the careers or employability department and seek around.
READ ABOUT YOUR UNIVERSITY
Research is so important!! Why, you ask? You need to read about your course, what it involves, what you will do and how long it is in order to see if the course suits you. Read about the different societies, memberships and help that the University has to offer. Go to open days. Ask the current or past pupils what they think of the University. Don't just go there because your best friend or boyfriend goes there. Or because it looks new and modern. Read about it. Research. Ask.
Lastly, social media is an excellent way to make friends and to ask people about the University. I met all my flat mates by searching up my University and Accommodation which then transformed into a WhatsApp group. Join Facebook closed groups, search hashtags on Instagram and Twitter and I am 100% sure you will find someone. Social Media is incredible nowadays and finding people has never been as easy. I have used an excellent app called 'Campus Society' in order to find people from my course and it also lets you find people from your University.