It’s inevitable. As you transition from the comfort of living at home to a brand-new student house, you’ll find it a bit difficult adjusting to a life on your own. But have no fear, we’ve put together our top seven pieces of advice that any fresher could hope for:

1. Learn to live on a budget

The moment your first student loan payment lands in your bank account is an incredibly exciting time – but you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can spend it in just a couple weeks if you're not careful. Budgeting and keeping a record of your spending will help your loan go much further, so you’ll be able to allocate more money to where it really matters. Student status grants you access to some fantastic student-only deals in your favourite high-street shops and restaurants, and even travel tickets. If you’re looking for cut-prices, we recommend that you purchase an NUS Card, a 16-25 railcard, and an 18+ Student Oyster Card if you’re living in London to save money.

2. Staying on top of your workload

With the temptation of going out every night of the week, it can be easy to lose sight of why you’re really studying at university. It's probably a little bit different to what you have been used to at school; non-compulsory lectures and seminars, fewer contact hours, and independent studies, which means that work can easily get on top of you if you're not organising your workload. It probably goes without saying, but you should try and start your assignments as early as possible. You don't have to complete your assignments the day you receive them, but even if it’s simply writing a plan, researching academic sources, and scheduling in some time to complete your work, it will save you from the stress of submitting a last-minute essay before that midnight deadline.

3. Securing your property early
There’s plenty of housing options when it comes to choosing your home for your second year of university. Typically, most first year students studying at campus-based universities will choose to live in halls of residence provided by the university, before moving into a private home in their second and third years of university. During your first-year of university, you should start looking for accommodation for the following academic year as early as possible. We recommend starting your student house search in December - it’s the best time to start your search!

Searching for student accommodation as early as possible will not only ensure that you have a wide selection of the best properties, locations and rooms in your area, but you’ll also be able to find accommodation suitable to your budget.

Don’t forget! The later you start your property search, the less chance you will have in finding a home that you love - so start looking as early as possible!

4. Finding housemates

Have you found the perfect student property, but the landlord requires a group booking rather than individual room bookings? Don’t worry! We’ve built a powerful tool to match you with like-minded students in your area.

Our Find a Housemate tool will automatically match you with other students also looking for accommodation based on interests, location, and the subject you’re studying at university. Each match you receive in the Find a Housemate tool is based off of a percentage, so the higher percentage match, the more compatible you both are with each other!

Are you searching for housemates? Find out more here.

5. Insuring your belongings

Whether you’re living in university halls, or in private student accommodation, you should think about purchasing contents insurance to protect your belongings in the event they are lost, damaged or stolen. Whilst it’s not compulsory to insure your belongings, we highly recommend it. You should contact your accommodation provider or landlord to find out whether your belongings are already covered by their insurance policy, as you could potentially lose all your items, and will have to fork out money yourself to get them replaced.

Find out more about the contents insurance cover we offer here.

6. Meeting new people

From the moment you arrive at university, everyone will be looking to build friendships. With so many events to choose from, freshers’ week is the perfect opportunity to have fun and meet as many people as possible. Make sure you put in an effort to introduce yourself and chat to new people, maybe leave your bedroom door open so people walking past can pop-in for a chat, and make sure you sign up to clubs and sports teams.

7. And finally - don’t be afraid to ask for help

University is a pretty intimidating place – with hundreds of new people, a brand-new city, and complete independence. If you’re struggling, never hesitate to ask for help. Whether it’s an issue at university or home, the best thing you can do if you’re finding it difficult is to talk to someone.