The important things students always forget to do when they move to uni

13 Oct 2020
By Rob Slade, Writer at Unite Students

I get it. When you move to university, there are roughly a million things running through your mind and all you’re really focused on is getting unpacked, meeting your flatmates and settling in.

And rightly so. But after a few days, or even weeks, you’re going to need to turn your attention to a few important bits of personal admin.

Personal admin… it sounds like the last thing you’d want to do with your evening, I know, but it’s important that you get it done. Below, I’m going to run through some of the important things you need to do now that you’re a university student.

Register with a local doctor

It took me two years and four months to register with my local doctor. Truth is, I probably wouldn’t have done it at all if I didn’t have any health issues. But I got ill. And when I did, I really needed a doctor.

But first I had to spend ages finding out the details of my previous doctors’ surgery and registering with a new one. It was the last thing I wanted to do, especially when I was feeling so rough.

Learn from my mistake. Register with your local surgery today so it’s there when you need it. Not sure where your nearest surgery is? Type your town, city or postcode in on this NHS page and it’ll tell you what you need to know.

Update the address on all of your accounts

The trouble with getting older is that you end up with dozens of different accounts for different things. And the annoying thing about that is that when you move, you have to update your details on each and every one.

That includes your bank, any subscription services, online shopping, driving licence, car (or any other type of) insurance and your mobile phone contract. Get it done now so you don’t miss out on any important post.

Get or confirm your contents insurance

If you live with Unite Students, you automatically get free contents insurance through Endsleigh that’ll cover you for your things when they’re inside your room. You can check and confirm your cover here. If you don’t live with us, you’ll want to check to see if you have contents insurance where you live.

Why is this so important? Well, replacing things that are lost, stolen or broken can get very expensive. When you have insurance, it removes not only a lot of stress, but also a lot of the cost.

Don’t have it included where you live? Get a quote for some student insurance now.

Make sure your printing account works

It’s good to be prepared. It saves a lot of stress, and in this case, may even be the difference in you handing work in on time.

You see, I’ve experienced the harsh reality of not preparing. I assumed that using a printer to print my work would have been a stress-free and quick process. Only, it wasn’t. In fact, I had no idea you had to log in to print something (or how to even do that), and hadn’t once considered I’d need to add credit to my account to actually be able to print out my work.

The result? A mad, last-minute dash that can only realistically be compared to something out of Total Wipeout. I made it, by the skin of my teeth. If this story tells you anything, it’s that you should probably have a test run with the printer before hand-in day.

Unless all of your hand-ins have moved online. In which case, just make sure you don’t oversleep.

Back up your work

Everyone has a story about losing work they haven’t backed up. I’ve lost four hours of solid work before in the space of two seconds. And I’ve witnessed somebody’s entire dissertation (that’s 10,000 words and months of blood, sweat and tears) be lost to an exploding can of Red Bull.

From the very start of uni, you want to be regularly saving and backing up your work, especially after you’ve made a breakthrough and written several hundred words in one go. Better yet, use something like Google Docs. That way, your work will always be safe, even if your computer dies.

Get a railcard

Chances are, you’ve had a lot of people say this to you already. But I’m not going to apologise for telling you to do it again. The sooner you get a railcard, the sooner you can start saving money.

And if you somehow don’t know much about railcards, let me explain. If you’re aged between 16 and 25, you can buy a railcard at £30 for one year or £70 for three. Once you’ve got it, you’ll save 1/3 on your train tickets. Over a year, those savings really start to add up.

Call friends and family from home

This might sound like a strange thing to be in this list, but there’s a reason it’s here. In fact, there are a couple of reasons. For a start, it’s always worth keeping home friendships going if you can. Especially as we go through these tough times. Having a friendly face at the end of a call can make a world of difference to their wellbeing and yours.

It’s only natural that your family are going to worry, too. So don’t leave them wondering how you’re getting on. Keep in touch, use your support network, ask their advice and make their day by giving them a call.

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Rob is a writer at Unite Students.