The dust has settled after the trauma of results day, so hopefully you know what’s happening with you now. And if you’re coming to Leicester then welcome! And if it’s to study English then double welcome 🙂
Now is the nice bit in a way, you can finally relax for the rest of your summer, but at the same time the fact that you’re actually going to university in a matter of weeks can seem pretty daunting. Based on my experience, here are some tips for preparing for university:
(the first couple are for those of you who won’t be living at home)
Don’t panic if you don’t get the accommodation you want
I remember you don’t get assigned the accommodation until quite late on, and I had applied for a little flat because the idea of living with a lot of people terrified me. This didn’t quite go to plan because I ended up in Beaumont Halls, where I was living with almost 39 other people. When I found this out I was frantic; I emailed the university, I spoke to them on the phone, and I had a little breakdown. In the end I stuck with it though, and I’m so happy I did. Think of it this way: the more people you’re exposed to, the more likely you are to find some people you get on with really well. It’s worked out for me as in my final year I’ll be living with 7 of the girls from my first year, so I couldn’t be happier with the way it worked out. So what I’m saying is that even if you don’t get quite what you bargained for, it should still turn out ok. Smaller flats are generally better quality, easier to keep clean, and you have a more intimate friendship group; but the bigger blocks have a ‘more the merrier’ attitude and tend to get a fair bit of wear and tear with block parties etc. I also found as a general rule that the ‘worse’ the accommodation was, the better the friendships were- I guess it gives people something to bond over! So I am confident that whatever you end up with, you can make it work.
Look up some lists of things you need to buy
Around this time is when you’ll be making those oh so important decisions like, will a jungle quilt cover look retro and cool, or will it single-handedly prevent me from making any friends throughout my first year? There tend to be a few quite comprehensive lists of things you’ll need to bring to halls- a quick google search brings up some really helpful lists and there are usually some on facebook as well. Take the time to go through them so you can get all this out of the way before you get to Leicester- although rest assured that most of the accommodation is near Asda or Morrisons, so if you forget something it isn’t the end of the world.
Don’t buy all the books
I was a bit of an eager beaver and wanted to get a head start with the reading, but the reading lists can get quite expensive so it’s best to wait a bit before buying what seems like a small library just for first year. If you do want to buy the books you can find the facebook groups such as this one where there are usually people desperate to get rid of their books, so that’s one option. There is also usually a day or two at the start of term where the o2 gets filled with a temporary bookshop filled with second hand books, so that could be another option. And of course there’s Amazon etc. But until you know for sure which books you’ll need, it’s best to see if you can get them from the library if you want to read them before you get to Leicester.
Throw yourself into everything- starting with Facebook groups
This is a general rule for when you actually get to uni, but with social media it can now start a bit beforehand. You don’t have to have an active presence, but if you join the pages for your course, the Leicester freshers page, and maybe the one for your accommodation, it can help you keep on top of the information that gets thrown at you for the next couple of weeks. These pages are a good place to direct questions, or hopefully someone on there will ask yours for you. And if you’re nervous about moving into halls, it can be nice to get introductions out of the way once you’ve found your flatmates online beforehand. If this isn’t your cup of tea that’s fine, but it’s worth knowing that this is something that might be useful for you.
Don’t worry about the late term start
I remember feeling quite left out as all my friends went off to start their new lives and I was waiting and waiting for the start of October. I was the last of my friends to go to uni, and what frustrated me was that I was desperate for details but as soon as my friends went off, they tended to go all incommunicado on me for a couple of weeks. Once you get to your own freshers you’ll see how that happens, but don’t worry about it, it’ll be your turn soon enough. You’ll grow to be glad of the late term start as it means more time to prepare, relax, earn money etc.
Spend time with friends from home
There is one thing I wasn’t really aware of when I moved from Manchester to Leicester: home stops being so homely once you leave. Your space in the house gets a bit more filled, it fits a bit tighter than when you left, and slowly you can feel yourself being pushed out. This isn’t the case for everyone, but a majority of my friends have acknowledged this change. It’s good, it’s a sign of progress, but it just means you should take this time to be with your family and friends from home, because even though things will probably be fine, they will change once you leave.
And last but not least: be proud of yourself for getting into Leicester, well done! 🙂