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Top tips on mentally preparing for university

By UALHalls 12 Aug 2020

First of all… CONGRATULATIONS! 🤩 You’re starting Uni and it’s going to be an amazing new chapter of your life. But it is also a big change, and it's important not to get overwhelmed. 

Whether you're moving away for the first time or even transitioning from full-time work back into studying these top tips will help you to prepare for university.

1. Make some lists 📋

Lists are a worried person's best friend and ticking things off can feel like dropping weights off your shoulder. 

If you are moving into private accommodation, make sure you check out our private accommodation moving in checklist. 

2. Get on top of your finances  💸

Money worries can cloud your excitement, so by planning your budget early you'll have an accurate picture of how much things are going to cost you, which will give you peace of mind before you arrive. 

Build your budget for free with this handy tool from The Money Charity!

See if you can set up your student bank account and look into whether you can get an account with a decent overdraft facility. This doesn’t mean you can spend money you don’t have all on pizza BUT it does mean you have something to fall back on if unexpected costs come your way.

Keep your uni, student finance and accommodation documents etc together so that you don't lose anything important. Having these things all in one place will help you feel like you’re organised and on top of everything. 

3. Learn to cook, if you can't already... 👨🏻‍🍳

Cooking is a great stress reliever, and if you’re leaving home for the first time it’s a fantastic chance to learn. If you have some time over the summer why not get a head start and get practicing your cooking skills by trying out a few simple recipes.  

Knowing you can cook yourself something delicious (or even prepare something for your new flatmates!) will give you a great start. Not to mention that good nutrition will work magic for your mental and physical health to carry you through your hand-ins and hangovers alike.

4. Take some time to reflect on how far you’ve come 😎

Before you start your UAL journey, take some time to reflect on how far you’ve come. You may want to do this by collecting a few photos, perhaps to put up in your new room. Taking stock of your achievements and taking pride in yourself is valuable to give you that confidence to take on anything.

Filling in this "Wheel of Life" could help you reflect on areas of your life you are content and help highlight those areas you'd like to work on. 

5. Remember, the worlds your oyster… literally. 🎡

Being open to new things and opportunities is a wonderful way to be mentally ready for what the following year may bring. Research your course to see what alumni have achieved and see what societies you may want to join, this bit is all about replacing anxieties of what’s to come with excitement about what new challenges might bring.

Being prepared and doing some research before you arrive is a fantastic way to calm your nerves. Get to know the London transport system a little, look into how you might travel to college and learn about your new area online. 

A lot of the hard graft of being mentally prepared comes down to feeling ready, but also being kind to yourself, RELAX❣️ everything is going to be okay. Don't worry, it's going to be a new experience for everyone and you are not alone. Going to uni is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start and you'll be amazing 😌

Written by Kirsty, Senior Rep from the Social Programme