Attending university for the first time is a mixture of excitement and anticipation but can also be filled with worry and concern. It might be the first time you’ve lived away from your parents, and you might be looking forward to all your newfound freedom and independence. Attending university is also about experiencing things you’ve never done before and making the most of your time there.
This coming academic year might not be quite what you expected with all the changes that COVID-19 has brought into our lives, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take advantage of all the fun goings-on at university and experience student life. Here’s a look at all the bucket list things to check off during your first month of university.
Explore the Campus
There may be some one-way systems in place, or you may be required to wear a mask, but you should still get out there and explore your new university campus. Campus life is a unique experience that will make you feel right at home like you’re part of one big family. As well as your lecture theatres, on campus, you will also find shops, bars, clubs and much more that makes up a small student-exclusive area.
During your first few weeks, find some time to get out and explore the whole campus, discover everything it has to offer and learn all the secret routes and shortcuts to get you around like a pro.
Get Those Fresher Freebies
Freshers week may look a little different this academic year, and you’ll have to make sure you follow all the recommended guidelines set out by your institution. There will likely be a one-way system around freshers’ fair, and you will probably need to be wearing a mask, but you can still take advantage of all those awesome freebies.
Companies and university societies will be giving away lots of lovely merchandise. Everything from pens, notepads, bottle openers and fridge magnets will be yours for the taking, as well as snacks and vouchers for goods and services. Grab as much as you can; you never know when you might need that pair of novelty sunglasses.
Make a Home Away from Home
Part of the fun of moving away from home is making your student accommodation your own little home away from home. As well as all the necessities you need to bring with you to university, don’t forget to throw a few home comforts in your suitcase to help your room feel more homely.
Posters, comfy throws, photos of friends and family, fairy lights etc. these are all wonderful little touches that can help you make your student room look less generic and add your own flair to your space.
Check Out the City
Unless you’re going to university in your hometown, you’re likely in a brand-new city, possibly even in a new country, and you should get out there and explore.
Your university city will be full of places of interest and things to see and do that you might not have had at home. Put aside a weekend to head out by yourself or with your new friends to see what’s what and find all the best places to explore, eat and drink.
Join a Society or Club
One of the best aspects of university is the sheer number of sports teams and societies that you can join. There’s everything from the typical theatre groups and debate clubs, to the more unusual magic and circus, DJ and chocolate societies. Whatever you’re into, you’re likely to find a society that can cater to it and meet a group of like-minded people to become fast friends with.
You will likely sign up to a lot of societies at freshers’ fair that sound vaguely interesting, but you should pick one or two to actually attend. They’re a great way to meet people, learn new skills and experience things you’ve never done before.
Make a Budget
Unfortunately, part of being a student is learning how to budget. That student loan might seem infinite, but it can drain quickly and leave you in your overdraft before the end of the first month.
Look at how much loan you get each term, as well as any additional earnings from a part-time job or your parents, and plan out a budget. It can be as simple as a limit on spending per week – but don’t forget to factor in nights out, those greasy takeaways won’t pay for themselves.
Use Your Student Discount
Fortunately, as a student, you can take advantage of a multitude of student discounts all over your new city. Everything from restaurants to shops, hairdressers and bike shops offer student discounts. Never be afraid to ask about student discounts wherever you go, you’ll be surprised at how many places will give you money off just for being a student.
If you’re a resident here at CityBlock in Lancaster or Reading, you can also take advantage of our exclusive discount card at a wide range of places. Check out our discounts and offers to find out where you could save just for being a CityBlock resident.
Create an Awesome Fancy Dress Costume
You will never wear as much fancy dress as you do at university ever again. So many events revolve around costumes, and this is likely still going to be the case even if the events will look slightly different. Homemade costumes are always a top choice, so bring a few wigs, some face paint and grab some spare cardboard and get to work on those fabulous costumes. And don’t forget to team up with your housemates on a fantastic group costume.
Get Some Uni Merch
Finally, make sure you show your appreciation for your institution by getting yourself a university hoodie or shirt. What’s the point of attending university if you can’t let everyone know about it? Show your university pride with some branded merch, or to bring home to your parents so they can show off their child’s education in the form of a branded mug or keyring.
At CityBlock, we hope you have a great first month at university despite the changes expected this year. If you’re looking for outstanding en-suite student accommodation in Lancaster or student accommodation in Reading, contact us today.