Getting ready for university
Get insider information on what to take to uni from students who’ve been there.
7½ things to learn before you leave home
Get the know-how you need before you fly the nest. Here are some students' top tips.
1. Find mates before you go
'When you know which uni you're going to, find its Freshers' group on Facebook and make new friends.'
Stephen O'Shea – History/Philosophy, Southampton
2. Learn to cook
'If you can’t be a confident cook, at least be a competent one. A few simple and tasty recipes will reduce the temptation of expensive takeaways.'
Victoria Kearley – PhD Film Studies, Southampton
3. Get a student account
Every fresher needs the right bank account and the Barclays
Student Additions account
works the way you want. 'Signing up to your bank's online and text service is definitely the best way to keep track of your money.'
Michael Heggie – Journalism, Edinburgh Napier
4. Seek out extra financial aid if you need it
'Your university will probably have a bursary scheme for help towards tuition fees, if you're eligible, and there's the Access for Learning Fund for students with children or a disability, or mature students. Search online via 'scholarship search' with
1, or the Educational Grants Service at
1 for grants from charities.'
Helen Goodwin – MA Fine Art, UCA
5. Travel on the cheap
'It's totally worth investing in a 16 – 25 railcard. It only costs £26 a year for a 3rd off rail travel.'
Lou Cox – MA Health Policy, London School of Economics
6. Get the look
For a confidence boost before you start, Sonita Dowd, FDA Journalism, LCC recommends a style makeover. 'But don’t do a trolley-dash on the high street and end up looking like everyone else. Check out secondhand shops.'
7. Work a washer...
'Here comes the science: divide laundry into similar colours. Check labels for the right setting. Add detergent, and voila! You’re a lean, mean washing machine.'
Enjoli Liston – Journalism MA, Goldsmiths University
7½ …Or not!
'I would wear all my clothes until I had a suitcase full of dirty laundry. As I was going home about every three weeks anyway, I'd lug the suitcase back to my mum. She wasn't best pleased, but I saved at least £12 a month on washing!'
Simon Baldwin – MA Geographical Info Systems, Aberystwyth
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