August 12, 2020, by Shweta

Making the Most of the Summer Before University

These next few months will be some of the most transformative times for students heading into their first year of university. Whilst COVID-19 may have butchered many of your summer plans, there are still plenty of ways (and time) to make the most of your days prior to ‘Welcome Week’ in September.

Spend (socially-distant) time with your loved ones

This one’s a no-brainer and saying goodbye does hurt but change is an inevitable consequence of growth. Spend the next few weeks celebrating your life and successes with your loved ones. Remind yourselves of the good times you have had and the memories you have shared. Be assured that more are on the way. Of course, never lose your sense of social responsibility and always adhere to local guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety. But in the midst of it all, find clever ways to cherish your last few weeks as a high-schooler.

Make a bucket-list

One of the things that had me most excited about moving away from home was the chance to explore new opportunities. Summer of 2016, I made a bucket-list of everything I wanted to do in Nottingham; 4 years later and I’ve done it all. Making a bucket-list will fire up the enthusiasm that the pandemic may have taken away. It’ll give you things to look forward to and may even dull some of those pre-move jitters.

Make a financial plan for your first year of university

I’m sure you will find a million excuses to not do so, I did too. But planning and investing in your financial literacy is one of the best things you could possibly do for yourself as you enter adulthood. Don’t let YouTube fool you, your budget doesn’t have to be fancy. A simple, flexible structure is all you need to keep yourself in check and reduce the risk of over-spending.

Get a job

In a pandemic? Crazy, I know! But the extra money will do you a world of good; university life is expensive. While the job scene here on Earth has taken a hit, the virtual world is booming. There’s plenty of ways to make a little extra cash online. If you’re adept at graphic design, writing or video editing, you can freelance your work and be paid for singular projects. Other opportunities include online tutoring, teaching English to children in foreign countries and entering marketing/PR roles for small businesses. The latter is particularly popular given the pandemic generated boom for virtual transactions; many brands are looking for someone to handle their social media. If you think you won’t need the extra money at university, think again. Any extra cash can also be invested or put into an emergency fund to kick-start your financial planning.

Start packing

Your trip to Nottingham may be weeks away but start packing early because it takes longer than you’d expect. Collect boxes and bags and start putting items away. At the very least, get organised by making lists of items you need to carry and/or buy to prevent any last-minute stresses.

Take some time to yourself

University is busy. The first few months of university will be some of the busiest. Between settling in and meeting new people, you’re unlikely to get much time to yourself. Moreover, you may find yourself burning out with the increased socialisation alongside the stress of starting university during a global crisis. I strongly suggest taking some time to yourself over the next few weeks to reflect and calm your nerves. After all, it’s never a bad idea to spend some quality time with yourself.

With university just around the corner, time is bound to move fast. But these are moments you will look back on so make them worth the memories. Remain calm and stay organised. Reflect and remember. Plan and be prepared. And most of all, try to stay positive about the changes in your life. Your first year of university may look a little different than what you may have expected but good things will still come out of it, I promise.

Until next time,


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