Starting university is a huge milestone for all new students. At sixth form, you had the luxury of home cooked meals, your parents doing your laundry and not spending money on rent. When you move to uni, you’ll quickly learn how to be independent and fend for yourself. Adjusting to university life can be challenging in the first few weeks, but you’ll gain confidence and life skills that will last throughout your degree. Here are the 4 things I’m glad I did before starting university.
Passed my driving test.
Learning to drive is a life skill. Sure, not everyone needs to or wants to do it, but I, for one, am glad I did. Although everything at my university is accessible on foot, and it’s only a 30 minute walk to the city centre, it’s nice to have my car with me. I can visit home whenever I like, or make my food shopping trips without having to be weighed down by heavy bags. It can also be expensive to learn to drive, and this isn’t a worry that I wanted to have while have to scrimp and save as a student. I funded my driving lessons and test from my part-time job whilst doing my A Levels. It’s easy enough to fit learning in alongside college, sixth form or even work if you’re on a gap year, so strike a balance.
Saved some money.
So that part-time job I mentioned before? It was super handy to save a few pennies before I came to university. Some of you will have maintenance loans from Student Finance England, some will not. Regardless of this, sometimes it helps to have a bit of money tucked away for emergencies or rainy days. It doesn’t matter how much; you will come across some unexpected costs whilst at uni (“Cheese costs how much?!”) Try saving £5 – £10 a week, even give it to your parents to keep safe if you must. You’ll thank me later when you can treat yourself with the money you forgot you had saved!
Learned to cook.
One thing I always like to do is dispel the myth that students live on beans on toast. I hate baked beans – always have. Even if you just get a few basic recipes under your belt, it’s worth knowing. Otherwise you will get sick of plain pasta with tomato sauce pretty quickly. I like to plan my meals for the week ahead of time; this way I can make sure I don’t overspend on my food shopping, but also get to plan some exciting meals and keep my freezer stocked for days when I’m a bit busier. Some of my favourite midweek meals include chicken enchiladas, cheesy ham and leek bake and a lovely spicy curry! I love social media accounts such as One Pound Meals and The Body Coach for easy to follow recipes, as well as Pinterest for foodie inspiration!
Did my own washing.
Something that you will learn very quickly at university is that dirty washing mounts up at an alarming rate. It gets much worse when you only get your clothes washed every time you visit home! Do it in stages – learn how to use the washing machine, discover where to and where NOT to put laundry powder and fabric conditioner and learn how to set up an airer with one swift movement! This is a life skill – unfortunately your parents won’t be able to wash your clothes forever. I’m so glad I know how to pop a quick wash on, and there’s nothing better than clean clothes and fresh bedding (even if it’s only once in a while!).
Are there any skills you plan on developing before university? Let me know in the comments section!