You want the perks: the freedom, the unrestricted social life and the smug sense of independence. The overdraft reminders, empty fridge and niggling feeling that you are slightly out of your depth? Not so much. We’re here to help you get started on your journey to successful adulting at university.
Although it might be tempting to blow your whole loan on those new trainers you saw on ASOS, it is very easy to lose track of your outgoings at university, so an awareness of your spending is essential. If you can, budget. There are a whole host of tools online to help you do this, but sometimes the old-fashioned pen and paper, a calculator and a spare 15 minutes is all you need. Simply jot down and total your incomings, subtract any recurring outgoings such as rent accordingly and then divide by the number of weeks you will be at uni. This will give you a rough estimate of how much you can afford to spend per week. You’ll find that setting boundaries, even if you don’t stick to them faultlessly, will give you structure and an overview of your finances.
The biggest question that haunts every fresher: can you wash whites and colours together? Short answer: No. The long answer: fight the mantra of ‘if it looks clean, it is clean’, and try to get into a habit of washing every week. For washing bedding and towels, aim for once every two weeks. After all, everyone knows there’s no better feeling than getting into crisp clean sheets. Bonus points for fabric softener.
This is a constant battle for students and it is bound to be erratic during the first few weeks of term. Spending the day in bed is okay, as long as it’s not every day. A key piece of advice for those looking to get organised would be to get a diary so you can start organising your days, weeks, and months at Leeds. This will give you a personalised hard copy of all your arrangements, social events, and lectures and seminars – as well as somewhere to doodle in said lectures and seminars.
In terms of cooking, start small and don’t be over ambitious. Meal prepping in seven tupperwares for the whole week sounds great, but is it realistic? Choose simple recipes to cook from the multitude of student cookbooks available. Also, take advantage of your freezer. You’ll be thanking yourself for making those extra portions when you are desperately in need of a quick fix meal. With shopping, try to make a list before you go and then stick to it to avoid coming back with half the shop.