In the many ‘rites of passage’ that come with progressing into adulthood, moving to university is perhaps one of the biggest. Moving out of your family home for the first time and suddenly being responsible for everything from bills to food is a major step, and one that comes with a lot of preparation.
Fear not, however – we’re here to help! If you’ve got the following five bits of ‘life admin’ sorted, you’ll be in a great position to start having fun the moment you move in!
1. Register your healthcare
From the dreaded freshers’ flu to any unexpected accidents or health scares, knowing what to do and where to go if you need a doctor will help you sort any ailments quickly, as well as giving you peace of mind while you’re away from home. Your university will have its own health centre, and it’s usually a simple case of filling out a few forms to register. And the benefits of registering with your university GP mean they’ll usually have systems in place for you to switch between university and your surgery at home during holidays.
Don’t forget to find a local dentist to register with too, as you don’t want to have to travel all the way home just for a filling! If you’re unsure where to look, the NHS offer a handy web tool to help find your nearest clinic.
2. Open a student bank account
Aside from organising your student finance, it’s a good idea to open a student bank account – these usually come with benefits such as low-interest overdrafts and even discounts on shopping or travel. Do your research, as many banks offer incentives for opening an account with them – discounted travel, Amazon Prime membership, or subscriptions to an online reading library, for example – but the most important thing to look out for is a 0% overdraft. Banks typically charge a daily fee for using your overdraft, so make sure you read the small print.
Once you’ve done that, check out this helpful student budget planner to help make the most of your pennies!
3. Get to know local travel routes
Whether you’re lucky enough to have a car or not, parking at university is usually extremely limited and, in many cases, the best option is to make use of public transport in and around your uni town/city. At Sanctuary Students, our flats are conveniently located for getting to campus – either on foot or via public transport.
Get prepared by looking up bus timetables, walking and cycling routes or train schedules for the routes you’ll be taking most often – that includes getting to and from campus, your nearest supermarkets and shops, and the most straightforward ways of getting home for the holidays.
The best part is that many public transport options offer student discounts, and, if you’re planning on using the train a lot, make sure you invest in a 16-25 Railcard, which costs £30 for a year or £70 for three.
4. Scout out the essentials
Familiarising yourself with your new local area is a great way to feel more at home, and you’ll thank your lucky stars for finding out where the buildings you’ll need to visit most often are, early on! In the spare time you’ll have before term starts, make sure you find out where your nearest supermarkets are, the nearest train station, your campus library, student’s union, and lecture buildings, if you know them.
Why not get to know your new flatmates at the same time by arranging these trips together? They’ll also need to know where these places are, and there’s nothing like going on an adventure for making friends – we also recommend having some fun by visiting local takeaways and coming up with a rating system to find your favourites!
5. Learn to cook
It’s no secret that many students live on pasta and cereal, but it doesn’t have to be this way! Learning to cook, even the basics, will help you stay healthy, save money, and even feel more at home – if you’ve got favourite meals that your parents cook, ask how to cook them before you go, so you’ve always got home comforts to hand, plus there are hundreds of money-saving student recipes to be found online. We love BBC GoodFood for easy, affordable and healthy options.
Check out our recent blogs: 7 simple dishes to master before starting university and Sanctuary Students recipes for inspiration. And don’t forget our list of life skills to learn before uni!
Don’t forget to check if your local supermarket offers student discounts too – for example, Morrisons offers a Student Club as part of their My Morrisons scheme, and Co-op offers a 10% discount to TOTUM card holders.
And, just like that…you’re ready to go! We’re sure you’ll love your university experience, and we can’t wait to welcome you all to your new accommodation. If you do have any questions or concerns about moving in, please don’t hesitate to email your hall. You can find a list of contact details here.