Planning for the Academic Year Ahead - Hello Student

Planning for the Academic Year Ahead

Moving away from home is scary; but it’s also fantastic. Don’t be scared – well, maybe be a little scared – being scared will keep you on your toes. But, there is a brilliant way to calm the university nerves a touch: planning. Yes, planning, a scary but brilliant idea. Your parents have been doing it for years, so why can’t you?

The new academic year is fast approaching, so there isn’t a better time to kick yourself into gear and be as ready and motivated as ever for further education. Read on to find some handy tips to make your university life a little easier.

By Robert Anderson – 3rd Year Journalism at Southampton Solent University

The vast majority of universities will require you to register online before the academic year, even if you’ve accepted your UCAS offer. But, you still need to tell them you’re gonna be there. If you can, register online before you arrive, saving time and boring hassle on day one. This could leave you some time to take in the sights and locate important places like a nearby supermarket, Lidl or Aldi can be massive money savers and help supplement your diet of cereal and pasta. Other places include the bank, post office and most importantly, the pubs – you might even find one that does student deals.

To help ease yourself into new surroundings, remember to research the area you are moving to. Check out TripAdvisor for local recommendations, and make a note of good landmarks when you arrive to help you navigate. Like a proper student be sure to take full advantage of any free amenities in your area like museums or art galleries; these are fantastic time-killers if you need one. Most importantly, grab your student ID with a vice grip and ask for student discount, everywhere.

Money can be a big concern for students, so the best way forward is to be money conscious from the very beginning. The first step is definitely opening up a student bank account and take advantage of the potential overdraft for that rainy day, (up to £3000 with some banks). Benefits range from an £80 Amazon voucher all the way to a four year 16-25 railcard depending on which bank you opt for. Check out Which? for all the latest stats on student and graduate bank accounts. Moreover, money management on the go could never be easier with on the rise mobile phone apps like Starling, Monzo or Curve. Also, don’t forget to create a UNiDAYS account for even more discounts online with sites like Spotify, Apple and ASOS – handy for when your loan drops and you’re feeling spendy.

Be sure to check out your uni timetable when possible. Once you’ve got a good idea of your schedule, looking for a part time job will become a lot easier – so begin looking for jobs as soon as possible. The extra cash will always come in handy and the work will keep you grounded in the real world. Sites like Lionbridge sometimes pay people to rate ads on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram, (can often pay over £10 an hour). They don’t always have UK opportunities, but check back often.

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