Starting university this academic year? Here are some tips and tricks for what you could expect…

Many of you reading this could be studying in Brighton once the new academic year starts, preparing to embark on your adventure. Perhaps you have already arrived and started your studies. Or maybe you are moving away and eager to explore your new home. Either way, congratulations on starting university! 

As you prepare for this new chapter in your life, there are numerous exciting things to anticipate. This guide highlights some of the most thrilling aspects that await, as well as a helpful list of things you could need for the years ahead. 

New friendships and diverse connections

University is a melting pot of cultures, ideas, and personalities. Anticipate forming lasting friendships with people from all walks of life. Whether you’re bonding with your flatmates, joining clubs, or collaborating with classmates on projects, the diversity of the university community will enrich your social circle. Be confident and friendly, you are all in the same boat when it comes to getting to know each other and don’t be afraid to stay true to your character. 

Academic exploration and intellectual growth

University offers a unique opportunity to delve deeper into subjects you are passionate about. Anticipate expanding your knowledge, critical thinking skills, and academic horizons. You will be engaging with professors, attending lectures, and participating in stimulating discussions that will contribute to your intellectual growth. Own your passions and don’t be afraid to raise your hand – as soon as you overcome this fear, the better for your wellbeing! Challenge yourself, and take some risks in your academic journey. Who knows if you could be the next Freud or bell hooks? 

Engaging campus events and activities

Universities are renowned for their vibrant campus life. Throw yourself into the atmosphere and make sure you take advantage of any markets, live music, theatre, sports events, and cultural festivals which could be hosted by your surrounding students or in the wider community. These experiences will create cherished memories and enhance your university experience. Make sure you explore which extra curricular societies you could join, as well as volunteering opportunities within your campus. Whether you enjoy sports, art, volunteering, or entrepreneurship, there will be a place for you to thrive.

Independence and personal growth

Moving away from home and living independently at university allows you to discover your individuality and build life skills. Anticipate personal growth as you learn to manage your time, budget, and responsibilities, ultimately fostering self-reliance and confidence. Feeling homesick? Remember your family and friends are constantly a phone call away. Mental health services should be available at your student union should you find adapting to this independent life more challenging than anticipated. Or, you may thrive in this new found freedom and learn to become your own best friend. 

Memories and life-long bonds

University is a time of personal growth, learning, connections and ultimately, enjoying fun experiences. You will create treasured memories and forge life-long bonds with friends, mentors, and fellow students who will remain a part of your life even after graduation.

Moving to university certainly is overwhelming, but try to allow yourself to feel every emotion. Whilst moving to a new place is daunting, being able to have all your essential needs will help you have a smooth transition into your new lifestyle.

What to take to university:

Academic Supplies:

  • Notebooks, binders, and folders for organizing coursework.
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters, and erasers.
  • A reliable laptop or computer and necessary accessories.
  • USB flash drives or external hard drives for data backup.

Bedding and Linens:

  • Bed sheets, pillowcases, and a cozy duvet.
  • Pillows (consider bringing one or two for extra comfort).
  • Towels (bath and hand towels).
  • Mattress protector for added hygiene.

Kitchen Essentials:

  • Plates, bowls, glasses, and mugs.
  • Cutlery (forks, knives, spoons).
  • Basic cooking utensils (spatula, ladle, etc.).
  • Pots and pans suitable for apartment cooking.
  • You might need to bring your own kettle or toaster (check accommodation amenities) 
  • Microwave-safe containers for meal prep! 

Personal Hygiene and Health Items:

  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.).
  • Prescription medications and any necessary medical supplies.
  • First aid kit with essentials like band-aids, antiseptic cream, etc.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cleaning products for kitchen and bathroom

Clothing and Laundry Supplies:

  • Clothing suitable for various weather conditions.
  • Hangers for organizing your wardrobe.
  • Laundry detergent and laundry bag or basket.
  • Iron and ironing board (if needed).
  • A washing airer (to save money on tumble driers)

Electronics and Gadgets:

  • Phone and charger.
  • Power strips and extension cords for charging multiple devices.
  • Headphones for studying or personal enjoyment.
  • Portable Bluetooth speaker for gatherings or relaxation.

Room Decor and Personalization:

  • Photos, posters, or wall art to personalize your living space. (most accommodation has a pinboard to stick things to)
  • Comfortable seating options like a bean bag or floor cushions.
  • Desk lamp or fairy lights for a cozy ambiance.
  • Plants or succulents to bring life to your room.

Identification and Important Documents:

  • ID card, passport, driver’s license, and any required university ID.
  • University acceptance letter and related paperwork.
  • Accommodation contract and other essential documents.
  • Bank cards and important contact information.
  • You could bring a safe for your bedroom, though university accommodation is generally very secure 

Recreational and Hobby Items:

  • Books or other hobbies that bring you joy and relaxation.
  • Card games (especially drinking games!) 
  • Sports equipment or exercise gear if you enjoy staying active.
  • Musical instruments (if you play) to entertain and unwind.

As you prepare to embark on this incredible adventure, keep these exciting anticipations in mind. University is a transformative journey that offers endless opportunities for personal and academic growth. Embrace every moment, be open to new experiences, and make the most of this enriching chapter in your life. Here’s to a fulfilling and unforgettable university experience ahead!

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