A-level results day 2019: Six important things to do before your first year at university starts

Monday, August 12, 2019

On A-level results day, many people will breathe a sigh of relief after securing a place at university. But, it doesn't stop there. It's time to start preparing for the next three to four years of your life. Here is a list of things to do before your course starts.

1. Get your finance in order 

If your course or place has changed due to Adjustment or Clearing, or you do not have finance arranged already, inform student finance immediately. You will need details of your parent’s income, so may wish to go through the application with them. If you are under 25 and have no contact with your parents or you support yourself, you can apply as an ‘estranged student’. You can still request funding up to nine months after the first day of the academic year.

2. Set up a student bank account 

Set up a student bank account once you have your UCAS confirmation letter. Look around for the best deals – many banks offer different overdraft options (including interest rates for after graduation) and perks such as rail cards. Check whether there is a bank branch close to your accommodation or campus. If you already have an account, you can often upgrade it to a student one.

3. Gather your course materials 

Your course will be in contact regarding necessary equipment and reading lists. Buy the correct editions, even if older versions are cheaper, as you will refer to the page numbers in class. Start your reading list over the summer – it will give you an edge. Make sure you have a reliable computer and buy spare hard drives or USB sticks (you don’t want to lose an essay two hours before the deadline!)

4. Find accommodation before its too late

If you are heading to your firm choice university, you will most likely have selected your living preferences, but if not, head to the accommodation section of your university’s website and follow the instructions to sign up. You may not be able to get into halls if you are applying late. In this case, organise private accommodation. Try local or student Facebook pages to find housemates.

5. Buy a rail card (if you haven't already)

If you’ll be using public transport at university, check the prices for annual, monthly and term-time passes. A 16 to 25 Railcard or Young Person’s Coachcard gives you big discounts on train or coach journeys. If you intend to take your car, check whether you will be able to get a parking permit, and find out how much it would cost.

6. Insure your valuables

Are your possessions covered by your parents’ insurance? If not, take out room, contents, or item-specific insurance. Many halls of residence will not be held liable if your property is stolen. If you have a car, update your insurance with your new address when you move.

Source: The Telegraph