So you’ve got your grades, gone shopping with your Mom and are off to university in September, what more do you need to do? Well, chances are you will still be feeling a bit nervous and worrying that you’ve forgotten something. Don’t panic, this is entirely normal and everyone else going with you will be feeling the same way. You’ve probably covered the basics; got yourself some new clothes, cleaning products (who uses those?!) and read through the university welcome pack but there are a few other things you can do to really see you land on your feet.
Firstly, talk to those who have gone before. Amongst all the good wishes and “I’m sure you will be fine” comments, there will be the odd gem of advice. The two best things that I was advised to take were a door wedge and a bottle opener on my key ring. If you are living in halls then all the doors will close by themselves; wedging them open helps you when moving all your stuff in and also makes you seem friendly to all the people you will live with for the next year. A bottle opener on your key ring will see you as the best man at parties when everyone else forgets theirs!
Secondly, food. Food makes friends. Enough said. Whether it’s a box of chocolates shared with everyone when you move in or you’re cooking a three course meal to impress that special guy/girl/other, everyone loves free food. Brushing up on those skills is an absolute lifesaver and I fully recommend practicing with family before you go. It looks impressive and can actually save you money rather than constantly buying ready-made meals or sauces from the supermarket. Get on it!
Tip number three, social networking. You should be checking facebook, twitter and the like regularly before you go and when you arrive. Keep an eye out for groups and events linked to your uni, including ones specifically for fresher’s week and accommodation blocks. Don’t stop just because you have found the ‘official’ page, there will be plenty of groups all doing the same thing and you don’t want to miss out on what they can offer. These represent a really useful way of getting to know people; you might be able to find out who you are living with, course mates or start planning which events you want to go to in freshers.
Fourth, do any required prep. Whilst university is so much more than just a degree, your lecturers will expect you to do some work. You really don’t want to be the only person who hasn’t done any reading and then get asked for your opinion. It’s much better to play it safe and get ahead of the game by doing the reading now. You don’t have to be the one answering all the questions in the seminar but you really don’t want to be the person who can answer none!
Finally, have fun and enjoy yourself. College is an incredible experience unlike anything you have done already. Make the most of every day you’re there.