Of course we’re not just talking about the official things you need to sort out such as
Looking for a student house, getting insurance or even the things you need to physically prepare before heading off to Uni. No, what we are referring to is the practical skills you’re going to need (drinking skills don’t count) if you’re going to adapt well to independent student living.
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1) Make friends with the washing Machine
You might think you do your own laundry, but putting a wash on once in a blue moon really doesn’t cut the mustard. Those clean socks that just appear in your drawers at home aren’t actually put there by the laundry fairies! Before going to university it really does help to become an expert in the complex art of deciphering whether your garments should be washed by hand, dry cleaned, washed on a cold cycle or warm cycle and whether they can withstand the iron.
One thing that can be guaranteed is that your parents will be more than happy to teach you all you need to know about household chores. In fact they’ll probably be thrilled that you’re helping out a bit more and we bet they’ll be willing to give you all the practice you need!
2) Learn to cook
The only way to a student’s heart is through their stomach, so if you want to make new friends (and who doesn’t) then learning to cook proper food will make you instantly popular among your housemates. There are so many junk-food stores and takeaways available, so you’ll never find yourself in a position of starvation, but as you know - nothing beats a home cooked Sunday roast (particularly when you are hungover)!
Of course, being able to cook well won’t only boost your popularity - it is also fantastic for your health and, more importantly, it is going to save you a shed load of cash. Making batches of home-made meals and then storing them to eat at a later date means that you can eat high quality food that doesn’t cost too much. A handy hint is to learn how to cook a number of vegetable related dishes (such as stews) before you leave home, as fruit and vegetables are often available at relatively low prices.
3) Get to grips with social networks
It may seem obvious, but your Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram account are going to be scrutinised once you get to University. As well as adjusting your privacy settings and getting rid of any of those embarrassing photos, you should also update your personal information.
It is also important to take a long hard look at your social media behaviour and change any annoying habits that you have before you head off to University. Do you demand attention? Get into public Facebook spats with your ‘friends’? Constantly take pictures of your dinner and post them online? Constantly update your status every 6 second? Spend all of your time ranting – or worse bragging – about your life? If so, then stop . NOW. You’ll not only struggle to make new friends, but you’re quickly going to lose the ones you do have!
4) Summer reading
Now we know what you’re thinking – you’ve just finished your exams ant the last thing you want to do is more work. Still, if you’ve nothing better to do, then you really should make a head start on some of the books that you’ll be required to read to complete the course. We’re not saying you should read the entire syllabus – but giving yourself a few weeks grace means that you shouldn’t have to pull any all-nighters (or sacrifice your social life) to meet deadlines once term starts!
5) The pre-uni clear out
Living in halls isn’t like living with your parents, and while this will have its advantages (house party any-one?) it does also mean you’ll have to live in a very self-contained style. Unlike your family home, you won’t be able to leave your shoes in the kitchen and store your coat under the stairs – everything you take with you will need to be contained within your own bedroom space.
With this in mind, you should have a huge clear-out while waiting for your results and figure out what is essential, and what can remain at home for the holidays. When you first head to uni at the end of September, you might want to consider just taking your autumn/ winter clothes, as you’re not going to need your flip-flops when it starts to snow!
If you have old clothes that no longer fit, then why not stick them on Ebay? It is an effortless way of making some spare cash, so you’ll more to squander during