Heading off to university this September? Now is the perfect time to start planning. With your exams out of the way and a few months of free time before you head off, you have the opportunity to get organised and plan.
Here are some ideas for going about it.
Learn to cook
Moving away from home for the first time means you need to be able to feed yourself. If you’ve always had the luxury of your parents putting dinner on the table every day then you might not have ever needed to learn- but that needs to start now. You need to be able to prepare nutritionally balanced and tasty meals on a tight budget, so start practicing recipes. Pasta and rice dishes are great as you can buy big bags of the dried grains and keep them in the cupboard. They’re things you can make in bulk and eat throughout the week, and it’s easy to adapt them depending on what ingredients you have in your freezer or whats on sale. Pasta with tuna, sweetcorn and light mayo for example is pretty well balanced, serve with a salad and it makes a hearty lunch or dinner. But it’s just as good mixed with a tin of tomatoes, some chopped chorizo and some basic herbs and spices. Have some idea of the basics and the things you plan on making to eat when you move away.
Practice household tasks
It sounds simple, but so many young adults move away from home for the first time with no real understanding of how to look after themselves. Ensure you know how to work a washing machine, including how to wash different clothing items and what the different settings on machines are. Ensure you can iron your clothes properly, and how to keep your surroundings clean with different products. Again, if you’ve had the luxury of parents doing things for you then it might be things you’ve never had to do for yourself.
Save some money
Depending on where you live and your parents financial situation, you might get access to grants which can cover the cost of living while you’re away at university. However, it’s not all that much and so knowing how to budget is crucial. Even if your parents have looked into college planning and are paying for you or you plan on working part time, it’s worth having some money put away before you go. A buffer to fall back onto can give you real peace of mind if you need access to cash. It can help the money you receive to stretch a little further too. Get a part time job in the months leading up to leaving for uni and keep it in a savings account.
Write a list of things you’ll need
Finally, organisation is key. When you move away to uni, there are a lot of things you’ll need to bring with you. You’ll be living here for a large part of the year! Write a list of everything you are going to need from kitchen equipment to bedding to clothes and start getting things bit by bit. The last thing you want to do is turn up and realise you’re missing a load of essentials.