Start of university is just a few weeks away. I am sure the excitement has escalated to a whole new level as Freshers’ Week draws near! Yes. You must have all the fun you can during Freshers’ Week. But there are some important tasks you need to tick off your ‘Fresher Essentials’ list to ensure that your life at university will run smooth. These are crucial and I advise you to sort these out during the first two weeks at the beginning of your first year.
a) Registering with a local GP
Half the students in my batch haven’t registered themselves with a doctor yet. Falling sick while away from home could be a tad bit of a challenging experience. Not being registered with a doctor will only make things harder and refrain you from any medical attention that you might need. Take some time out to go to the Victoria Park Health Centre near campus. It takes less than five minutes to fill out the registration form that you can collect at the reception. I got my card with my NHS number and the name of my GP within a week of my visit to the Victoria Park Health Centre.
b) Setting up a bank account
This is vital. I had a not-so-good experience with one of the banks I wished to set up an account with when I first came. Therefore, a little more digging and research will help you choose a bank you’ll be happy with while your time at university. Leicester has a stretch of student friendly banks; NatWest, Santander, Barclays and Lloyds being the most notable ones. Spend a day or two going down to the city centre and talk to a few banks. Ask them what their requirements are for students. These usually just include proof of identity such as your passport or driver’s license and a letter from the university. You can easily get this from the Registry Office located in the Fielding Johnson building on campus. Some banks demand a specific amount of money to be present in your account each month, while some bank accounts charge a monthly fee usually between £10-£25. Hence, keeping your monthly income or allowance in mind will help you narrow down your search.
c) Getting a phone contract
The use of phones, especially among students, keeps increasing every second. You need it for making calls, sending texts, check your emails, do research, watch videos or put up a tweet. Keep a lookout for a phone company that offers affordable contracts, but at the same time fulfils all your needs. Contracts range between a price as cheap as £9 a month to as expensive as £28 a month. You can choose between a 12 month or a monthly contract. Again, you will need proof of identity for setting up a contract. Keep any documents or information they might need ready. O2 are very student friendly and they offer some great deals on their contracts as well as discounts on retail shops, both in stores and online.
d) Obtaining a National Insurance Number
If you plan to work while studying at university, it is better to apply for and obtain a National Insurance Number before hand. You need this number when you get a job and register with Unitemps. The process is simple and you get your number through post within a span of two weeks. You can speak to a staff member at the Unitemps office located on the ground floor of the Percy Gee Building for more help and information.
I hope this post was helpful. And I hope you have a wonderful Freshers’ Week. All the best!