Preparing for University – our Countdown to College Checklist

Preparing for University – our Countdown to College Checklist

What you should know before you go…

Starting university or college usually means leaving home for the first time. It’s a wonderful moment: you’ll have more independence, more freedom, and more choices than ever before.

But – what if things didn’t go as planned?

By the time you’re reading this, you may already have your results. If things didn’t work out, don’t panic! Your ‘insurance choice’ could be an option, or you may decide to delay starting uni to take a gap year instead. Still keen to start in September? Over 70,000 students were accepted through Clearing in 2021, which means there will still be plenty of opportunities available to you.

Whenever you start, and wherever you go, organising everything can feel overwhelming. Our student checklist will make sure nothing gets forgotten.

Set your student budget

Set a budget for the term. Include fees, food, travel, books, and social activities! Don’t forget ‘household’ things such as going to the launderette, the hairdresser, and of course there’s your phone contract and other bills. You’ll learn to love the words ‘student discount’…

Get on top of the ‘life admin’

University comes with a lot of admin – so checking the registration process at your uni is a great idea, as plenty can be done online, including paying fees. If you haven’t got accommodation sorted, do it now, and don’t forget student insurance! The more prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll feel.

It’s never too late to learn to cook

…if you can’t already! Just get a few basic recipes under your belt, if your student hall has cooking facilities. Our top three are pasta bake, spaghetti Bolognese, and chilli con carne. Cooking is a great way to get to know people – you can laugh at your epic fails together! It’ll work out cheaper too if you can share meals.

Finding your way around

Get to know the area where your uni is. Where’s the nearest launderette, bookshop and coffee shop? Google Maps is a godsend as always. Familiarise yourself with your timetable – some people even try to memorise the layout of campus, so they don’t get lost on their first day!

Invest in study supplies

We love a study planner! Organising your day and prioritising your studies so you don’t miss deadlines is a great way to keep a handle on stress. Don’t forget to stock-up on your favourite stationery too. Zebra Pen Mildliners are perfect for highlighting study notes or key activities in your planner, and are a must-have in your uni pencil case. Read more about them here: And if you want to make sure your property stays yours, the McKie permanent marker pen is ideal for labelling your belongings or marking-up packing boxes for transportation to your halls of residence or shared student accommodation.

Get ahead with your reading

Take a book and head for your favourite spot for the afternoon. There IS a lot of reading in your own time at university, so getting on top of that reading list will make you feel calmer and in control. If you can spend some time outdoors preparing for your course, even better, fresh air is not only good for wellbeing but helps with inspiration and creativity too. Discover more here:

Start packing – and don’t forget your journal

As a new student, you’ll have many new experiences jostling for your attention. Taking time out to journal allows you to reflect on your experiences and emotions and process them.

A journal will be a wonderful record of some of the most precious time of your life. You’re free to be whoever you want to be – and the possibilities are endless.