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Checking all the boxes for your first week of university

By Lesley Nixon - Posted on 6 August 2015

Senior Student Adviser at Strathclyde Business School, Lesley Nixon, shares some helpful tips for first year undergraduates starting their university experience.

Taking the first steps of your higher education journey can spark an explosive mix of emotions.  There is excitement at the prospect of leaving home for the first time.  Also, curiosity about the new subjects you will learn and people you will meet. And, of course, anticipation for Freshers' Week to begin.  However, this new and overwhelming experience can, of course, bring some nerves too.

You might be pushing any concerns you have about starting university to the back of your mind to worry about closer to the time, but the key to smoothly sailing through your first few weeks is preparation.  With that in mind, I’ve listed a few essential tips to consider before your course starts that will help you avoid any unnecessary hiccups.

When does your course begin?

Make sure you know what date your course begins.  You would be surprised at the amount of students who have turned up on the wrong day!  If you have any doubts at all, speak to your university admissions contact who will be able to provide you with exact dates.

Have you applied for funding yet?

If you haven’t already, you will need to do so as soon as possible to you receive your funding in time for registration.  The organisation you will need to contact regarding this will change depending on where you are going to university.  These include Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales and Student Finance Northern Ireland.

Have you started a student bank account?

I’d suggest you shop around and find the one that works best for you. Most come with interest-free overdrafts which can be a lifesaver when it’s time to pay rent.  It is best, however, to ensure you budget and avoid getting too close to the overdraft limit.  Exceeding this will usually incur nasty charges.

Have you organised accommodation?

Have you applied to live in a student flat or are you planning to rent privately?  If you’re looking for private accommodation, the University Student Accommodation Office can provide you with information on reputable local letting agents to contact.

Do you know where you’re going on your first day?

Do you know what building your first meeting is in and how long it will take you to get there? Campus maps will help you find the venue but those who are not living on campus should check bus and train timetables beforehand – nobody wants to turn up late on the first day.

Worried you won’t know anyone?

If you don’t know anyone else going to the same university as you, don’t worry.  Strathclyde Business School has an induction programme which is tailored to helping you settle in and meet new people.  Most universities will have a similar scheme in place.  Outside of this, have a look online to pick out clubs and societies you would be interested in joining, get involved in the University’s gym classes or just head down to the union and you’ll make friends in no time.

Hopefully, this will help you prepare for your first day, but if you do have any other questions before you start please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.  And remember, if you ever need help throughout your time at university, my office is always open.

If you are seeking any further advice before starting university, please contact Lesley by emailing l.nixon@strath.ac.uk.

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Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114
 sbs-adviser@strath.ac.uk 

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119
 sbs.admissions@strath.ac.uk

Address

Strathclyde Business School
University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
Glasgow
G4 0QU

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