Congratulations on getting into university and officially beginning your student journey!
You made it: A-Levels done and dusted, no more teachers, school or awkward uniform rules. Time for adulthood. You’ve got your results and have secured your place, so the stressful part is over… right?
Well, yes and no – you’ve escaped the rules and now have some freedom, but navigating living away from home plus the whole student lifestyle can be pretty daunting, so we’ve compiled some of our top tips for new students.
Open a student bank account
You’ll need one to get a maintenance loan, plus you’ll get interest-free overdrafts (yay!).
Checking out comparison websites, like Money Supermarket is great to compare the different options that are out there. You can prioritise rewards and features that the banks offer to find stuff that’s important to you.
For example, if you’re regularly travelling between cities for home and uni, a free 16-25 railcard could be a huge bonus. Or maybe you need a bigger overdraft – no worries, there’s plenty on there for that too.
To apply for a bank account, you’ll usually need proof of address and identity as well as confirmation of your university place – something like your UCAS confirmation letter. Depending on the bank, you’ll either have to apply online or at the branch.
After all that admin stuff is sorted, add in the details of your account to Student Finance on the Government’s website to get your maintenance loan paid in every term.
Join student Facebook groups
Facebook groups specific to your university or area are a great way to get to know new people, hear about events and activities, and keep your finger on the pulse of student life.
Usually a quick search on Facebook for ‘Freshers at…’ will come up with a few groups with hundreds of people in the same position as you. It can be great to meet people on your course from across the country/world to build up a little community which can sometimes help with the heebie-jeebies of moving to a new city.
From there, you can create group chats, plan nights out and figure out all the best student haunts, plus even potentially join groups specific for your student halls to find out who you’ll be living with next year.
Pack everything you (actually) need
You’ll have limited space in your new room so be realistic. Save the student do a great checklist.
When you move you’ll realise that you truly do need the most random of things – hello door hooks and bathroom slippers.
Checking out TikTok and scrolling through other students’ first-hand experiences is great since you’ll be able to see what stuff was helpful and what was pointless. Plus, remember you’ll be able to buy stuff later so if you’ve forgotten anything once you’ve moved in, Amazon Prime will come in handy.
Make sure you check your accommodation rules for stuff like Blu tack and candles – you definitely don’t want to lose your deposit.
Learn some basic cooking skills
Having a few easy recipes nailed will save you time and money and will keep up your strength through Freshers’ flu season.
We love Mob’s tips & recipes – they have a ton of different recipes with recipes for all levels of cooking ability. It’s the perfect introduction to cooking and trying some new foods with easy-to-follow one-minute videos accompanying the recipes, so you can see exactly what “crispy-golden brown” means.
So whether you’re a pesto-pasta pro or can just about make some toast, there’s something on there for you. Check out their YouTube channel for longer videos too!
Find some free things to do in the city
You’ll be spending the next few years there, so it’s worth getting to know it better before term kicks off.
The Complete University Guide has created a stellar list of most of the UK’s university cities, handily organised in alphabetical order. It gives a good starting point for essential information like public transport and things to do, but your best port of call for more student-y stuff will probably be to check out The Student Room or TikTok for other student perspectives.
Plan a weekly budget
Work out money coming in and all your outgoings, then set yourself a target spend for each week. You can then work out if you need to curb your spending or boost your income.
Most banks have online banking, which is great for a quick summary of what you’ve been spending on. But there’s apps which take it to the next level, Emma: The Money Management App being one of them. It gives a great break-down with weekly round-ups of your biggest costs and categorising certain expenditures into easily digestible bite-sized bits. Plus, you can add in multiple bank accounts, so you can see your spending in both your student account and regular account together.
Need a part-time job to top up your budget?
Get to know your flatmates
Unlike other friends you’ll make, you have to live with these people for your 1st year, so it’s worth befriending them.
Pre-drinks in the kitchen, ordering pizzas to share on a Tuesday night or organising nights out is a great way to socialise. You’ll be sharing communal spaces with your flatmates and they’ll always be nearby (the room down the hall to be precise), so it’ll be nice to have some guaranteed mates.
Plus, being on good terms means fewer petty arguments and the chance to borrow the milk if you need some breakfast.
Look out for each other
Beginning university can feel overwhelming. With so many sudden changes to navigate, it’s important to regularly check in with yourself and your new friends to make sure your mental health isn’t suffering as a result.
Student Minds is a great charity focused on student mental health, and they have resources on their website to support your wellbeing and those around you. Plus, most universities have some form of mental health support – reach out to your tutors, heads of departments or the Student Union f you’re struggling. They’re there for you.
Get a part-time job with us
Get yourself a part-time job that will fit your new schedule. You’ll be able to focus on your studies and have fun with your friends knowing you have reliable income sorted.
Many student jobs can leave you feeling drained and working at awkward hours so working with kids is a great option for fun and flexibility.
Families are hiring all year round but especially in the autumn at the start of the school year so now is a great time to get searching.
It only takes 5 minutes to sign up to be a part-time nanny using our easy online form. It’s best to start talking to families as soon as you can to find a role that suits you and iron out any timetable clashes once term starts. But we’re always here to support you with your application and find a job that works around you. Remember, when you work with Koru Kids you’re in charge of choosing the days and hours you can work.
Find out more and sign up for the best student job in the UK.
Looking for a flexible, fun and fulfilling part-time job?