You are finally going to a university. It is a whole new environment and a considerable part of your transition to adulthood.
Depending on where you are, university life could introduce you to a bigger world. In addition, it exposes you to people who may have different backgrounds and beliefs.
For many, attending university is a transformative experience. But the transition from high school to university could also be a bit daunting.
To help out, we prepared this quick guide on what you need to prepare before setting off for university.
Go to Orientation
Most universities often stage a freshman orientation the summer before term starts. You will usually get an invite in the mail or through email about the itinerary.
If you can, you should make it a point to go to orientation. If you have not visited the campus yet, it would be a great way to get to know and explore the area.
The orientation will also provide you with all the information you need for your first year. In addition, you will be able to ask questions and even meet some of your future classmates.
Attending orientation will also make you feel more familiar with the place. That way, your first day of classes would not be as scary.
Settle Your Accommodations
If you go to university in another city or province, you will need to find another place to live. For many new students, this will be their first time living away from home.
Many universities offer on-site accommodation in the form of dormitories. Here, you will most likely share a room with a few roommates. Of course, you will share bathrooms and dining areas as well.
Living on campus does have a few perks. First, you would not have to travel far for classes since you already live at school. Second, you will have more opportunities to get to know your schoolmates. This is especially important for freshmen, especially when you are far from home.
There are plenty of credible accommodations you can explore. A new one that is becoming quite popular in the UK is the host student accommodation. In this arrangement, families open up their homes to international students by letting out a bedroom. This is a great arrangement especially since you get to spend time with a real family.
You can also go for off-campus accommodation. You can rent a room or apartment in a nearby community. To save on rent, many choose to have a roommate or housemate. If you know someone or are comfortable living alone, this arrangement could also suit you.
If you go to university in your home city or province, you could choose to keep living at home. This way, you would not have to spend money on rent or adjust to new living arrangements.
Figure Out How to Get Around
Learning does not only happen within school walls. If you can, use the weeks before the school year to explore the community outside the university.
Know where the government offices, clinics and hospitals are. You should also plot out the shops, libraries, restaurants and public transport routes.
This way, you can deal with the world outside of the university more easily. It is also a great way to meet new people and learn about the local culture.
If you cannot schedule a physical visit, you can always explore online. You can check out the city’s maps and read articles or social media posts about the area.
Plan Your Finances
It might not seem as exciting, but sorting out your finances is essential. You would not be living at home anymore, and you will have to buy all your needs yourself.
Before term starts, make sure to open a bank account with an ATM card. This is where you can store your allowance. Many banks now also have mobile apps you can access through your smartphone.
If you have an allowance, learn to budget so you have enough for your essentials. If not, you may consider other sources of income, such as a part-time job or a scholarship.
You can inquire about any financial aid that your university may provide. For example, some can offer tuition assistance and loans or help you find jobs and scholarships.
Talk to Your Parents or Guardians
Have an open and honest conversation with your parents or guardians. Having lived with them for most of your life, you going off to university would be a pretty significant change.
You can set agreements on how you would stay in contact. This may be through phone calls, letters or social media. If possible, you can even decide to come home a few times a month.
Your parents could also look into updating any existing insurance policies they have. The prolonged absence of a family member could prompt some changes in premiums. Insurance brokers at BrokerLink can help you out on this.
Keep in mind that you are experiencing something new. So, a little fear is understandable. But, always be open to new things. Make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way, and do not forget to enjoy your university life.