August 2022

Blog | Preparations for going to uni

By Samantha Bowen-Smith

Share post:

Read time: approx 5 mins

One thing that I like about University College Birmingham is that it’s different from other education establishments. They offer post-16 courses as well as undergraduate and postgraduate courses so there are loads of options for study. I’m glad I chose this university!

So it’s that time of year – results day is almost upon us, the gate to ‘clearing’ will soon be closing in and there are lots of students in the same boat. What am I talking about? Starting university in September.

That’s right, autumn will shortly be upon us, and so I thought I'd share some insight in terms of preparations for going to uni.

Once you've enrolled on your course, get your student finance in check before you do anything else. For you, this could mean opening a student bank account, working out annual expenses, setting aside student fees, applying for student loans etc. If possible, this should be done well in advance of starting your course but if not, don’t fret, there is still time to make your student finance a priority.

If you’re going to be moving into University College Birmingham student accommodation, it might be a good idea to know how to combine a few good ingredients to cook a homemade meal. It’s a cheaper option than buying ready-made meals and often tastes better (though I suppose it depends on the cook! Heheee).

I had a go at making some homemade banana, oat and raisin cookies and they turned out to be quite delicious!

Birmingham has a wealth of good food places to eat out at or take away from, but you might want to keep tabs on your expenses, especially during your first few months. I know that studying can be stressful and with a hectic timetable, cooking might be the last thing on your mind when you get home. If you prepare meals in advance, I guess you’ve won half the battle!

Organising travel and travel expenses is all part of preparing for uni. If you’re going to be working throughout the academic year to subsidise your studies, you’ll need to know bus routes into and out of the city centre (or town, as we call it), bus and rail timetables or places to visit. If you have access to a car during your time at uni, you’ll need to consider parking charges and pinpoint car parks in and around the city.

No doubt you’ll form friendship groups while you’re at University College Birmingham. I admit that this wasn’t one of the first things on my agenda when I started my course at the University, but it became an important part of my journey. I remember when I walked into my class for the first taught session, being greeted with a smile by my tutor and the other ladies on the course but not knowing anybody, it was a bit daunting.

We quickly got to know each other as my tutor had us all taking part in an ice breaker exercise. It was fun, not what I expected and in fact, it was better than what I’d anticipated.

Whether you’re an international student or UK-based, friendships will be an important part of your learning journey. Like me, you’ll meet students on your course but maybe, try to find other ways that you can connect with people.

Keeping a healthy body and mind are important while studying and if you’re not already part of a gym, University College Birmingham has its very own and the membership is reasonable. As for me, I’m more of a workout class kind of girl so I occasionally drop into zumba at my local church.

OK, so let’s talk about resources, reading materials and stationery. We haven’t quite moved on from using paper and pens and to be honest, I like to keep up my handwriting skills so I take notes in class.

There’s still time for you to get a head start with reading relevant books and materials that will help you on your course. I’ll be visiting my local library and borrowing books before my course starts and if you’re really looking to save money and budget well, you won’t need to buy brand new resources. University College Birmingham has its own library and there might even be some reading materials available online, so check the UCB Portal once you get settled.

That’s all from me. All the best for the year ahead!

Back to top