Wondering what to do before you go to uni? If you're a sixth form or college student and you're not sure what to tick off your bucket list before the big leap to university then we've got you covered.
“Read?!” I hear you cry, “but I’ve just spent two years reading and I’m about to spend another three years with my head in a book - why on earth would I want to do that?”. I don’t mean read biology textbooks, I mean you should pick up a book and devour it just for fun, because it’s unlikely you’ll find a spare minute to read what you actually enjoy during your degree.
2. Learn to cook (a little)
The hardest part about university is keeping yourself alive and scurvy-free. Ask the master chef in your family to teach you a couple of easy recipes that will be simple to recreate in your kitchen at halls. Try omelettes (high protein), spaghetti bolognese (crammed with sneaky vegetables) or a cheese toastie (delicious). Check out our Quick And Easy Recipes For Freshers.
3. Spend time with your family
On the flip side of this, make sure you carve out some quality time with your lovely family (yes, even your smelly brother). Especially if you have elderly relatives, or if your university is miles and miles away from your hometown. Go on a family holiday together, or arrange a weekend of fun activities. Savour those moments around the dinner table, even if everyone just stares at their phones whilst shovelling shepherd's pie into their faces.
There might not be another point in your life where you have as much freedom as you do right now. You’re young, smart(ish) and unburdened by responsibilities more important than maintaining a Snapchat streak. Whether you take a short trip for a couple months, or take a year out and travel the world, leave the package holidays and creature comforts behind and explore the globe from the perspective of the locals.
5. Spend time with your friends
Heading to university can put a considerable strain on your friendships. Long-distance relationships are never easy, so make sure that you and your closest friends make plans to keep in touch. The most important piece of advice that I can give is this: Promise each other that no matter how long you go without speaking, you’ll never feel bad about it. If you start to feel guilty about how long it’s been since you last chatted, there’s a chance you’ll never get back in touch again out of sheer embarrassment.
6. Cuddle your pet
These fuzzy bundles of joy (or scaly bundles, if your pet is a snake) can’t come with you to your uni halls. Cuddle them as much as possible, and take a million and one selfies. They’ll miss you more than your family will, but the greeting you’ll get when you pop home at the weekend will be AMAZING. Again, unless your pet is a snake. I have no idea if they can wag their tails. Or recognise their owners.
7. Pack the right things
As tempting as it is, you don’t want to take the everything but the kitchen sink with you. Take the essentials and nothing more. Your room at uni will be much smaller than the one at home, and there simply won’t be room for seven One Direction posters. Check out our guide of what to pack here.
8. Clear out your old bedroom
There’s years and years of accumulated clutter in there, and whether or not you parents ask you to move your stuff into boxes in the garage it’s still a good opportunity for a clear out. You don’t want your bedroom to stay like some creepy shrine until you come back three years later, and just think of all the old embarrassing photos you can find and put on Facebook!
9. Get yourself a railcard
I cannot express how valuable you’ll find this. Get yourself a 16-25 railcard as soon as possible, because paying full price for train fares home is a joke. Spend that money on poisonous-looking fluorescent shots instead.
10. Print out some pictures
So your camera’s full of cute snaps, but there’s nothing like holding an actual, tangible photo. And, if your halls are anything like those in 99% of universities, the walls will be a nasty shade of beige that you need to cover up with 20 pictures of your sleeping cat.
So there you have it, our guide to all the things you have to do to before you go to university!