Congratulations, you’re off to uni. Now it’s time to start preparing for your move into higher education, whether you’re moving away or staying at home.

Here are our top tips for everything you need to know, from studying, to finance, making friends, and more. As well as a bunch of useful resources for you to explore.

  1. Check your emails regularly: unis will be sending through lots of pre-arrival information and support, including invites to welcome events.
  2. Look for online groups: most unis have online communities you can join to meet people on your course or in your accommodation before you arrive.
  3. Use social media: follow your uni on social media and check out UCAS’ Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X for handy info and live events.


Studying at uni can be different to the structure you’re used to at school or college. You’ll need to be more independent and self-motivated. It’s a good idea to use the summer to try and get prepared.

Some top tips 
  • Check resources on the uni website to see what support they have for new students.
  • Ask the uni about study skills sessions and workshops that can help with any knowledge or skills gaps.
  • Check if there’s a pre-reading list for your course that you can get ahead with.

These resources may be helpful:

  • Skills4Uni: a short online course to guide you through the skills you’ll need for higher education.
  • Building your academic skills: a short online course to build the academic skills you need for university from FutureLearn.
  • Student Minds share tips and tools to help you with your studying during university.

Managing your finances

Learning to manage a budget can take some getting used to, especially if you’ve never lived away from home before. But it’s a good chance for you to learn a key life skill too.

Some top tips 
  • Make sure you’ve got your finances sorted before you go, including setting up a student bank account.
  • Make sure you’ve applied for any student finance you need and understand what you’re eligible for and how it works.
  • Set a budget before you go. Try and test out that budget for a few weeks before uni so you can check if it’s going to work for you. It might help to look at how much things cost in the area you’re going to, to help you work out a plan.

These resources may be helpful:

My top three uni living essentials

Unsure what to pack for university? George, from the University of Manchester, has you covered! He talks us through his uni living essentials for halls and shares his top tips to make sure you're prepared for university life. In partnership with Noah.

Living away from home

If you’re moving away from home, it’s an exciting time to make new friends and live independently, but it helps to have some guidance along the way.

Some top tips
  • Scope out your accommodation so you understand exactly what you need to take with you. Check out our essential uni packing list for some ideas.
  • Try to find an online group for your accommodation, so you can meet the people you’ll be living with before you arrive.
  • Check out the local area so you know what’s around. For example, local transport and supermarkets.

These resources may be helpful:

Diversity, friendships, and fitting in

Starting uni is an opportunity to discover who you are and make new friends. Our top tips and resources will help you to be your true self and make the most of your time at uni.

  • See what your local area and the uni have to offer so you can meet like-minded people. This might be societies, sports teams, support groups, and much more.
  • Join online groups before you go, specifically around the things you’re interested in so you can meet people before arriving.
  • Put yourself out there to make friends. Meeting people is what uni is all about and it’ll help you get the most out of the experience.

These resources may be helpful:


Staying healthy

Ideally, you should have any vaccines you have missed before leaving for university or college so you can build up protection before you arrive.

If that's not possible, arrange to have any missed vaccines as soon as possible with your new GP practice on arrival at university/ college. Register with your new GP before you leave for uni – don’t wait until you’re ill.

Find out which vaccines to check

Read top tips on healthy habits from sleep, to exercise and food, and explore how to keep yourself well on Student Space.

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

Whether you want help to manage an existing mental health condition, or get some general advice on looking after your wellbeing at uni, visit our mental health hub to understand where you can get support.

Visit our mental health hub

These resources may be helpful:

Individual needs and disability support

There are a wide variety of resources available to help you achieve your full potential, including support for personal circumstances, individual needs, and disability support. Here are a few key things to remember:

  • Your information is always treated confidentially. If you decide you don't need the support, that’s fine. But it's there just in case you change your mind, or your circumstances change in the future.
  • Contact the student support team or wellbeing team to find out more. This info is kept confidential and only shared with your consent.
  • You can also check if you are eligible for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) which can help you cover any additional study-related costs.

More about support for individual needs

Support for International students

Coming to the UK as an international student is exciting, and you’ll want to be prepared for the experience before you get started. Get ready for this new step with these practical guides: