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  • Ayo

Dear Uni Students...

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

As the end of summer approaches and September is in full swing, now is the time that things get real...

Below I’ve come up with a 3 unconventional things to make sure you have before university starts. With a quick Google search, we can find the typical things you need to buy for university (pots and pans, laundry baskets, bedsheets etc). But today I wanted to urge you to get these things which I hope will not only make your uni experience more fruitful but also set yourself up for the summers in between and the graduate life afterwards.

1. Practice good habits/Daily plan

I think this tip in essential to making sure you get the chance to get the most out of your time at university. So much time is wasted in a day during times of procrastination. Getting into good habits with how you spend your time can make sure you’re getting things done even when you cba! it may sound basic but creating to-do lists or daily goals can be really effective for keeping yourself accountable. You could download an app or get a mini whiteboard for your room; either way find a medium that allows yourself to keep your daily tasks on check. Get into the habit of scheduling rest days for yourself. Self care is important and as a student its very easy to work hard and play hard and forget the need to rest your body and mind. Check in with your family and friends back home often. University can be a big bubble and its easy to forget everything outside of it, definitely make sure to connect with home friends and your family to give yourself a balance and remind you of how loved you are esp if you’re feeling low or stressed.

2. Get a savings account/ISA

Anyone that knows me knows that I bang on about this without fail. It is so important to practice good financial habits from now to set yourself up for the future. More financial challenges will come as you reach new milestones and it’s great to equip yourself with the basic skills from now. Speaking from personal experience, I was able to save and cut back a lot at uni which definitely helped me during the in-between summers and post-uni life as I could go on little holidays and experiences but also not rush into work and give myself time to rest after a stressful final year.

If you’re not too concerned with saving for holidays, you could open up an ISA to begin helping you save towards a flat. This may seem far fetched when you’re at uni (and believe me I know its nice to do up enjoyment) but the earlier you start saving, the better. The Help to buy ISA (closing in November) and the Lifetime ISA are two great options to begin saving towards your first home. They both give you the opportunity to be granted a bonus (free money) towards the purchase or deposit of your home depending on what you put in. (Please do your own research on these schemes!) The economic climate and general society views will make you feel like the chances of saving towards your deposit are slim to none but here is a quick working out to show you how ISAs could help you reach your goal faster than you think:

(FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES - I recognise students may not be able to afford save up to these numbers but I’ve put them as an aspiration just in case)

Lifetime ISA:

Saving £50 a month = £600 a year + LISA bonus of 150 = £750 x 3 years in uni = £2,250 approx.

Saving £30 a week = £1,560 a year + LISA bonus of 390 = £1,950 x 3 years in uni = £5,850


Initial deposit of £500 + saving £25 a week = £1,700 a year x 3years = £5,100 approx (govt will add 25% bonus at the end when purchasing your home)

Now I understand the typical student may not be able to save as much as these figures all the time but even using these ISAs to get into a good habit of saving weekly or monthly could set yourself up well for when you’re out of university. Ten pounds a week could turn into just under £2,000 saved after three years.

3. Mood board for your academic year ahead

(this was sorta my vision board at the beginning of the year, can you guess what my goals were?)

At the beginning of the year, we’re all encouraged to set goals and aspirations and create vision boards for the year ahead; why not do the same for your academic year too? Give yourself time to reflect on your past year and set yourself goals on what you would like to achieve. Create a visual document detailing the grades you’d like to get, the societies you would like to try out and the new things you’d like to do. Perhaps you’d like to try out a dance class or put on an event for charity? Or maybe you’d like to pass your driving test or get a part time job? These are all things you can write down and keep yourself accountable for during the year. Vision boards are a great tool but remember you also need to work on achieving your goals consistently and put a plan in action for it

Essentially, this post was intended to get you thinking outside the box for how to approach this new year in university. I recognise that these all will take some will and work but if you set your mind to it, I’m confident you can use these ideas to get the most out of your academic year ahead!

What do you think? Are you ready to experience your best year yet? Would you be open to trying any of the tips above? Let us know in the comments…

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