Top tips to help you get ready for Student Life

Now that the results are in and courses have been allocated, students will be busy preparing to head off to college or university for the first time or return after the summer break.

And while it is an exciting time, as you embark on this new chapter and look forward to what lies ahead, there are a few important steps you can take to prepare for this exciting new journey.

AbbeyAutoline is here to support students when it comes to your belongings and car insurance. Did you know, when studying away from home your belongings can be covered for free, under our home insurance cover? Also, for young students taking their car to university or college ChilliDrive can provide affordable car insurance, while promoting safe driving giving reassurance to parents.

You can never be too prepared, so we have pulled together some top tips when it comes to getting ready for student life:

What are you packing? It can be tempting to pack everything but the kitchen sink, especially in your first year. However, once you get settled in, you may not need as much as you originally thought. You might even require an extra suitcase for the way home – it can be surprising how much you accumulate throughout the year!

Essential items include bedding, towels, clothes and toiletries, medication, ID, bank cards, kitchenware, and cookware (check with your accommodation what they provide), some home comforts incl. pictures and some stationery.

Student Bank Account: Make sure you have a student bank account set up before heading away, or if you are moving outside of Northern Ireland, make sure you research the banks that offer the best student accounts and make that your priority when you arrive at your destination. Do your research and read up on what other students felt were the best banks out there.

Student Essentials (& Gadgets): When it comes to student essentials, it’s less pens, paper and books these days and more gadgets and technology. Although you may need books, these can usually be accessed from your place of study. Having a laptop can be a great help for students and a printer so you are not always relying on the facilities within the college/university and can work at home in your own time. Other essentials include your mobile phone and chargers to keep in contact with friends and family and an iPad, as well as music device.

Can you cook? Before heading off to university or college, make sure you have some basic cooking skills and try and plan out a few meals that you can prepare so you are not always relying on the canteen, Student’s Union or takeaways. This can work out quite expensive and can eat away at your disposable income. Having a meal plan can also allow you to plan out a shopping list for the week ahead to help keep costs down.

Household Chores: Heading away to study means that you are responsible for your living space and washing. It’s important to make sure you know how to use a washing machine to make sure your washing is up to date. Also make sure you keep on top of your cleaning, around your room as well as in shared spaces. It can be difficult adjusting to living with new people but the main thing that can cause most arguments is dirty dishes. The bast way to avoid this is wash up after yourself or create a cleaning rota for your communal area.

Student job: Having a student job can be a necessity at times to be able to fund your way through your time at college/university. If you already have a part-time job in a large retailer, you might be able to transfer to your new location. Or perhaps research jobs in your new area and approach companies like your current employer. Be pro-active and perhaps approach potential employers ahead of your arrival, if you are heading to a student dominated town, there will be a lot of competition once term-time begins.

Budget: For many students living away from home, this will be the first time having to manage bills. The best thing to do is plan a budget and identify how much you need each month for essential expenses ie rent, bills or disposable costs ie food, nights out, fashion etc. An app-based bank account can be really helpful to separate both and transfer your disposable income, so you don’t over-spend each month.

Research your new area: It can be very daunting moving away to a new city or town, especially if you are doing it on your own. Before moving, research the area to get your bearings so you feel more comfortable when you arrive. Check out where your favourite shops are, your nearest supermarket, local bank as well as different bars, clubs and even sports clubs that you may want to join.

Ask for help: This goes for all aspects of student life, if you are unsure about elements within your course, ask your lecturer, if you have financial issues, speak to your parents or even your Student’s Union. If you have general questions about student life, ask students who are older and get their advice and guidance as they have just been in your position. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, as there are so many resources out there to support you through these years.

Have Fun: Like many students, you will only be studying away from home for three-four years and while you are there for a reason, to gain your qualifications, it is also an amazing opportunity to gain independence and grow as a person as you make that transition from teenager into adulthood. Make the most of this time - learn, grow, build invaluable life skills and experiences, establish lifelong friends and make amazing memories, but do it safely and take care of yourself along the way!

It’s important to have the right insurance in place to protect your belongings and vehicle. Make sure you are covered under our Home and Young Driver Insurance.

As your trusted local insurance broker, AbbeyAutoline is here to help. Give us a call today on 08000 66 55 44 to get a quote.

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