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All set for student life

Starting university is exciting, but it can also make you feel nervous. You’ll be meeting new people, studying at a higher level and possibly living away from home for the first time. This can all be nerve-wracking, but there are things you can do to make your transition to university life a smooth one.

Do the life admin bits early

This can be boring, but getting it done early will help you avoid last-minute stress. Apply for student finance and provide the correct supporting information and bank details. Choose your accommodation early to give yourself the best chance of being placed where you want. If there are any additional bursaries, scholarships or allowances that you are eligible for, make sure you apply for these in plenty of time too.

Get online

Wondering whether you will be able to make friends is a common concern for university starters. But thanks to social media you can now begin meeting people before you’ve even started your course. Your institution may have set up Facebook groups for your course or halls of residence, and you can even search Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites for people who have posted about the same course and university as you. Also, you may be able to start interacting with student societies you are interested in through their online groups.

Get in the kitchen

You don’t need to be a culinary expert, but learning to make a few simple meals will go a long way. If you haven’t done much cooking before then ask someone to teach you how to master a couple of dishes. Living on beans on toast and supernoodles will soon get boring, and eating takeaways will quickly empty your bank account!

Give yourself a head start on your studies

Many universities publish reading lists in advance, so you can start reading around the topics you will be studying, particularly if your subject requires lots of reading like English or History. There’s no need to buy every book on the reading list new. Instead, check out websites and shops where you can buy second-hand books. Your university may also have an exchange where second and third-year students can sell their old books to new starters.

Make a budget

It’s a good idea to work out how much cash you will have left after your rent, travel and food costs so you know how much you have to spend on everything else. Your student loan is paid to you in three instalments, so make sure you leave yourself enough to cover the periods in between payments. Find out more about making your money go further as a student.

Start packing

If you are moving out of home, use this time to make a list of practical things you will need at university. This includes stuff like bedding, towels and kitchen utensils. Also, think about study materials you might need such as a laptop, folders or notebooks.

Finally, try not to worry.

Going to university is a fantastic experience, and doing a small amount of preparation before you start will make the experience less stressful. Remember that if you do have any questions or concerns, your university should be happy to help.


Coming to Goldsmiths in September? Discover what life in London is like and find out about the kinds of support available to you when you start.

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