A-level results day – get ready for uni!

Congratulations, Class of 2023! You've successfully conquered your A-levels, and the next adventure awaits you: university life. While this is a super exciting time, it can also feel daunting if it’s your first time living on your own and, as you can imagine, there’s a lot to think about and get sorted. Let's delve into key considerations to help you seamlessly transition and embark on a successful journey at university.

The freshers’ shopping list

Make your space yours

Before diving into academics, create a comfortable living space. Whether moving into halls or other furnished accommodation, you should have the basics provided when it comes to bedroom furniture – likely a bed, a chair, a desk and some storage. It will be good to know the size of your bed, so you can get suitably sized bedding. With student spaces typically being quite plain, you may want to consider adding some flair to your space with decorations like plants, pictures, or lighting. Just ensure you're following any tenancy rules!

Whether you’re hoping to become the next Gordon Ramsay or preparing to live purely off pasta for the next three years, you’ll want the kitchen essentials: • Pots and pansPlates and bowlsCutlery and utensilsCups/glasses and mugs

Key tech and stationery

Nowadays, a laptop or tablet is a necessity as a student. This will be essential for assignments, keeping up with your emails and timetable, and of course for all the series you’ll be binging in your downtime! If you prefer to keep your note-taking a bit more old fashioned, you can’t go wrong with a notebook. Flashcards, post-it notes and highlighters can also be particularly useful when revision season rolls around.

Seek out student discounts

If you already have a student card or email address, keep these to hand where you can, as these can be your keys to a wide variety of student discounts. If you’re shopping in person and not sure if somewhere offers a student discount, it never hurts to ask! Alternatively, if shopping online you can often access a discount by providing your student email address or via a site like UNiDAYs.

Start signing up

There are a few essential things to consider signing up for when going to uni.

Get a student bank account

Managing your money is one of the most important things at uni and various banks offer accounts including features chosen with students in mind. Many of these offer added bonuses for signing up, such as a cash bonus, a railcard or free subscriptions to a service. Be sure to have a thorough look around to find an account that best suits your needs.

Find a local GP

We all know getting a doctor’s appointment can be a load of malarkey, but you’ll be thankful for one if you end up with a textbook case of freshers’ flu. Some universities have dedicated practices on campus, so it’s worth checking if yours does. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with a nearby local clinic.

Join societies and/or sports clubs

Student societies are a great way to engage with what you’re passionate about and to meet people with similar interests. Be sure to visit freshers’ fairs or look online for more information about societies you’re interested in, as there will be all sorts of events going on during freshers’ week. If there’s not one for what you’re interested in, you could always try setting it up yourself!

General tips for students

Try to stick to a schedule

You’ve probably been told countless times about the differences between school and university, with a lot of the emphasis being placed on the independence and need to manage your own workload. Coming up with a schedule and sticking to it can really help you to build a habit, focus during your working hours and to enjoy your free time outside of them.

Wondering how to make the most of your working hours? Check out our blog post on effective studying.

Make use of lecturer office hours

If there’s something you on your course that you just can’t get your head around, take the time to visit your lecturer or tutor during their office hours and talk through it with them in-person. Without the crowd of a lecture theatre, you can really delve into whatever it is you’re struggling with and find out exactly what they are looking for. Don’t worry about feeling like you’re interrupting by visiting during their office hours – that’s exactly what they’re for.

Take care of your mental health and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it

For all the good that life at uni brings, there will unfortunately be some hard times, be it due to workload, homesickness, or any other pressures. Many universities have counselling or Nightline services for those in need of support, so don’t be afraid to make use of these if available and you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Aim for a healthy balance of work and leisure, as being active and social can work wonders for your mood. Also don’t forget that, even if you’re far from home, it’s never been easier to quickly get in touch with friends and family all over the world, so your friends and family from home are only a quick call or message away if you’re missing them.

Make the most of it and enjoy yourself!

For most people, uni will be the last three years before starting their career - three years that will go by all too quickly. With countless opportunities to learn and try new things, meet new people and explore a new place, it can be a life changing stage of your life. So be sure to make the most of it and get the experience you’re looking for!

SMARTY SIM only deals

Looking for a great value SIM plan? We’ve got you covered!

At SMARTY, we’re all about less malarkey and keeping things simple. All our plans are one-month rolling plans, so you can change or cancel your plan whenever you want and don’t have to worry about annual price rises. Every plan comes with superfast 5G & 4G data, as well as unlimited calls & texts. You can even use up to 12GB of your data allowance when roaming in the EU at no extra cost – perfect for your summer holidays! We’ve even got data SIMs that will make a great choice for a tablet if you plan to take one out and about during your studies.

Why not give award-winning simple, honest mobile a try?

Disclaimer: any external pages we have linked to in this blog (i.e. those outside of the SMARTY website) are not owned or managed by SMARTY in any way. Although we may include links for you to visit these pages more easily, we are not responsible for the content and information you may find on these.

  • SMARTY Team
  • August 17th, 2023