10 Things to Do Before Starting University

October 23, 2023
5 min read

It's time to kickstart your university preparations and set yourself up for success! Before you go to university and dive into your new academic life, follow these 10 essential steps to enhance your experience, and make sure you get the most from it. 

In this article, we will guide you through ten crucial things to do before starting university, that will ensure you begin your journey on the right foot.

Prioritise Tasks

One of the most crucial aspects of thriving in university is staying on top of your responsibilities and prioritising your time; as a university student, you'll often find yourself juggling multiple tasks simultaneously. 

Learning to prioritise assignments, projects, your most important tasks and activities can significantly reduce stress and improve your productivity. 

You should try to develop a system, such as categorising tasks based on urgency and importance, to ensure you remain on top of your workload and meet deadlines with ease - using a study schedule can really help with this, and is something we recommend to all university students!

Create a Study Schedule

Managing your time effectively is essential to do well in university and get the most out of your experience - from both an academic and lifestyle point of view. To achieve this, creating a study schedule should be a top priority, and will never not be a good idea.

Develop a realistic and comprehensive timetable, that includes dedicated study hours, lesson times, breaks, time you will spend with family and friends, at part time jobs and extracurricular activities - you can even put in when you will allow yourself time to use social media!

This will help you stay organised, adapt to the rigors of university life, and maintain consistent progress throughout your academic journey. Remember that it won't always be possible to stick to this schedule, as uni life can sometimes be unpredictable, particularly during times like freshers week, and exam time may require a different schedule.

Maintain a Balance Between Academic and Personal Life

While excelling academically is vital, it's equally important to maintain a healthy balance between your academic and personal life. 

University offers a plethora of social and extracurricular opportunities that should not be missed. Ensure you allocate time for leisure activities, hobbies, and making new friends. This balance will not only enhance your overall university experience but also contribute to your personal growth and well-being.

Financial Planning

Before starting university, it's important to have a strong grasp on the financial aspects of university and student life. From a student bank account to managing expenses to budgeting effectively, here are some key steps to take:

Understand the financial aspects of university life

Take the time to familiarise yourself with the costs associated with attending university. 

This will include tuition fees, textbooks public transport, university accommodation, and any other living expenses; by understanding these financial obligations, you can better prepare for the financial responsibilities ahead.

Manage your expenses

Creating a budget and tracking your expenses is essential for managing your finances during the three years of your time at university. Keeping a record of your income and regularly reviewing your spending habits to ensure you're not overspending in certain areas can be vital in managing your expenses and knowing how much money you have/ need.

Budget effectively

Developing a budget will help you make sure you allocate your funds wisely - to do this effectively you should consider your income from any part time job or students union you are a part of, expenses, and any additional sources of financial support. 

You can then use this to set realistic spending limits for various categories, such as groceries, transportation such as train fares (or plane tickets if you are an international student), and entertainment (and be sure to take into consideration any reductions on costs or expenses you may be entitled to from student discounts!). 

Stick to your budget as much as possible to save money and avoid unnecessary debt.

Explore scholarship or financial aid options

You should investigate scholarship opportunities and financial aid programs, such as student finance, that can help alleviate the financial burden of university. Research the eligibility criteria and deadlines for applications to maximise your student loan and chances of securing financial assistance, by:

  • Checking with the university for available scholarships
  • Researching external scholarship options
  • Applying for a student bank account
  • Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Exploring grants and work-study programs
  • Reviewing different student accommodation types and comparing the costs
  • Comparing the costs of stock within different shops within the local area of your university town

Academic Preparation

Prior to starting university, it is important to engage in academic preparation to set yourself up for success. Here are some essential steps to take:

Review core concepts

Refresh your knowledge of fundamental concepts that are essential for your chosen field of study. This will ensure you are well-prepared for everything you would need to delve into more advanced topics.

Revisit subjects related to the chosen field of study

Take the time to go over subjects that align with your intended major or area of interest, helping you to build a strong foundation and enhance your understanding of the subject matter.

Familiarise yourself with the curriculum or course requirements

Be sure to thoroughly understand the curriculum or course requirements of your intended program, as this will help you plan your course schedule and select the appropriate classes. You may benefit if you:

  • Review the course catalog
  • Take note of prerequisite courses
  • Familiarise yourself with any required textbooks or materials

Research University Resources

Before starting university, it is important and also beneficial to be aware of the resources available on campus to university students; as these resources can greatly enhance your academic journey and overall university experience. 

Here are some key steps to ensure you make the most of these resources available to you:

Explore Available Resources

Some of the available resources which should be offered in most universities include:

  • Libraries: Familiarise yourself with the library facilities and services - these spaces are not only great for studying but also offer access to a wealth of academic resources, textbooks, and research materials.
  • Academic Support Centers: Take advantage of academic support centers, such as tutoring services or writing centers as they can provide valuable assistance to help you succeed academically.
  • Career Services: Research career services offered by the university. These centers provide guidance in terms of internships, job placements, and career counseling.
  • Counseling Services: Universities often have counseling services to support students' mental health and well-being you should familiarise yourself with these resources and know where to seek help if needed.

There will be other resources available to you, such as lecture buildings, reading lists, and online resources which should not be dismissed as incredibly helpful when it comes to the time you will start university, and can even be used to help you get a head start.

Research Beforehand

To effectively navigate the exciting chapter that is university life, it is essential to research the previously mentioned resources beforehand. Make sure you take the time to understand what each resource provides, and how they can benefit you throughout your higher education journey. This will allow you to make informed decisions and utilise these resources effectively.

By familiarising yourself with the university library and the available resources, you can ensure a smoother transition into university life and make the most of the support systems provided by your institution - they can even help you in making friends with other new students who will also be exploring the amenities available to them. 


Now that you have a sneak peek into the key points you might need to consider before stepping foot on the university campus, it's time to get ready to embark on this exciting adventure fully equipped to conquer your academic goals. 

Remember, preparation is the key to success, so start ticking off these ten things as you prepare to embrace university life!

If you are looking for any additional advice or recommendations contact Summer Schools today - we are here to offer support throughout your education and academic journey.

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