Term 1, part 1: A new beginning
The following information has been created in such a way, it highlights what to expect in your first year in University
Life begins anew for you. You’d better:
- sort your accommodation and bank account
- get settled – register and discover student discounts
- meet, greet and make new mates
How’s it all going?
The successful Uni experience is all about balancing different areas of your life. How will you look after your money, get good grades, enjoy an active social life and take care of your health? You begin your first year like this:
- £250 savings in the bank
- Academic score of 2.1 (around 55-64%) based on your pre-Uni grades
- Average social life
- Above average level of health
Congratulations, you’re off to Uni!
Your virtual student bank account is open and you’ll get access to £250 savings and £1000 interest free overdraft (to use not abuse).
Right, first things first. Time to get a roof over your head. Accommodation could cost you half your money, so it’s important to make the right choice. Where you live has a big impact on your living costs. You get a bigger loan if living away from home, but how do the costs balance out?
You’re faced with a choice of home, halls or a shared house. Let’s say you choose to live in halls. It’s £60 per week including bills, and it’s very close to the Uni, so there are no travel costs.
Your total rent for the year will be £1750. That’s £700 for terms 1 and 2 and £350 for term 3.
It’s your first day at Uni. You go to register first.
You get chatting with some other freshers on the way to register. You meet Darren and Sanchia.
Darren tells you about a good idea. He summarises the idea in a text ‘Hey, let’s knock up some food together and split the bill. Cheap nosh means more dosh’.
Wow! The Union’s busy and the facilities look fit for the Hello magazine annual party. You recognise a friend in the crowd. It’s Joe who’s studying architecture. It’s hard to catch what he’s saying in the crowds. Joes says he’ll send you a text.
- Mobile message. These NUS cards are great, let’s ask for a discount everywhere, some shops don’t shout about it. Joe.
Next you go and check if your student loan’s hit your account yet.
Cheque it out
At the bank you find that the money’s not in yet so you look at your budget, and try not to panic.
- Mobile message. I’ve already chosen my account. I went for the one with the best freebies. I’m going to need the overdraft facility I think, back to the bank for me. Sanchia.
Oh well, at least you’ve got a cheque book. You go and register with the doc and dentist, which is a top idea. You never know when you might need the doc. In fact, you’re not feeling so good right now.
As you leave the bank you see Joe. His household income is £14,000. So he gets a lot of financial help.
You’re checking out campus when you meet Lucy. She asks you where the Student Union is. She’s studying architecture with Mike, she’s deaf and he’s been helpful with registering.
You walk Lucy to the Union but your head’s in a spin. Fresher’s Fair is in the air. All those forms at registration have wiped you out, so you ask Sarah to join you for a nice warm cuppa.
After a long week of induction, you wake up with a headache, but you’re still feeling flush. You’re making a good start with your savings.
You keep being good by finding out how to use your internet banking. Your friendly but firm new Student Adviser shows you how to bank online. You’re relieved. It’s actually pretty easy.
More money, more problems
There’s so much going on, your head’s spinning, and it’s only midday. So you cane that student discount card and decide you’ll cook up a storm of a gourmet meal tonight.
The student card is ace! You can save loads on everything from clothes to cinema tickets. You buy some serious grub for tonight’s slap up meal.
- Mobile message. My sis used to call home each week so if she rang to ask for money, folks didn’t feel used and she didn’t feel bad. Crisis averted. Sanchia.
Whatever happens, you’re not going to starve, they sell dented tins of beans for 15 pence at the supermarket! You consult with Sarah – her culinary skills come close to Delia’s.
- Mobile message. I’m making a shopping list, then I’ll know exactly what I want so won’t waste cash on things I don’t need. Sarah.
Tired and emotional
It’s been an exhausting time, but you head to the Union. Tomorrow you’ve got to crack on with work and soon you’ll need to sort out this term’s budget.
How’s it going?
It’s been a busy first half of your first term. Let’s look at how you’re doing?
You have £231 left of your savings of £250. That’s great but you’ll need to save more each week to stay afloat. Keeping an eye on your balance can stop you going over your overdraft limit.
You haven’t started studying yet so your academic performance can’t be measured.
Your social life is average. You’re not setting the world alight but you’re not friendless either. Your health is not bad and you don’t have time to become a sporting champ but get some decent exercise and work up a sweat.