Congratulations! You got through school, sixth form, college: wherever you went, you’ve made it, and you’re ready to join the Uni of Gloucestershire. Whether you’ll be living in Cheltenham or Gloucester or somewhere in between, this will be your home for the next few years, so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for this next step.
- Don’t worry!
It can be nerve-wracking to move to a new place and meet lots of new people, but remember that everybody is in the same boat as you, and are probably just as nervous. It won’t take long at all for you to make friends, and some of those you make on the very first day will last through your whole stint at university.
- Create a Facebook chat with your new flatmates or coursemates.
This means that once you get to university you’ll already have a few people to look out for, and the awkward introductions are pretty much done. Posting on the uni’s freshers’ page is a great way to find people on the same course or in the same accommodation (or if you’re lucky, both!).
- Check that your student finance is ready to go.
Sometimes it can feel like Student Finance England are making you jump through all sorts of hoops, but it’s definitely worth it to make sure you get your loans through as early as possible. Double check what stage your application is at and how much you’ll be entitled to here.
- Set up a student bank account. Odds are that you’ve already done this, but if not, it’s highly recommended. The main difference between a normal account and a student one is that you get an interest-free overdraft, which may sound unimportant right now, but being able to dip into your overdraft (most accounts will start you off with £500) without having to worry about having to pay back anything extra is a tool that most students end up using at some point. Plus, most banks offer really cool extras with student accounts, from railcards to Amazon gift vouchers.
- Learn to cook at least one proper meal before moving to uni. A lot of students haven’t really had much cooking experience, and while we are famed for our love of takeaways and instant noodles, you’ll thank yourself so much if you’ve learnt to cook something before you start living on your own. I recommend spaghetti bolognese- it doesn’t take long and is pretty easy, but filling!
- Get vaccinated! Not the nicest of jobs, but the NHS is highly recommending that freshers get the Men ACWY vaccine, which prevents meningitis and septicaemia. You can find out more about the vaccine here and you can make an appointment with your local GP.
- Check what you can and can’t take with you. For instance, most halls won’t let you bring large electrical appliances (like mini-fridges), and UoG also has a no-car policy for students living in halls. You can find out what you’re allowed to bring, and other information about halls of residence, here.
- Get packing! You’re going to be living in your halls until June, so you need to make sure that you have everything you need to live comfortably. You can find our list of essentials to pack here.