25 Aug 2016
You’ve been accepted to university and, come September, you’ll be off to begin a whole new chapter. But what about the life (and potentially the place) you’re leaving behind? For a lot of students this will be the first time you've ever lived away from home, and for many it will involve moving away to a new town or city, which is pretty daunting!
So before you fly the nest, here are a few fun things to do in your local area before you move away...
We know times have changed and uni life isn’t all about Pot Noodles and cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner anymore. It’s likely, though, that your budget won’t stretch to a meal in a swanky restaurant every week so why not splurge on a fun night with good food and great friends before you head off to uni. Check out TripAdvisor to find the top-rated restaurant in your neck of the woods.
Every area of the UK lays claim to its own local delicacy – the infamous deep fried Mars bar or more traditional haggis from Scotland, Welsh cakes and laver bread from Wales, and Scouse, pease pudding and Cornish pasties in England. Make sure you try the food most famous in your hometown so you can recreate it in your halls of residence for all your uni mates to try!
There may be no business like showbusiness, but going to see a professional show can be a costly treat. There are hundreds of amateur dramatic companies throughout the country that regularly put on top-notch shows at a fraction of the cost. Dame Judi Dench, Sir Anthony Hopkins and even Keira Knightley were all keen “Am-Drammers” so who knows, a future Oscar winner could be treading the boards in your local town! Find out what's on near you.
You’re moving away from home, possibly for the first time, and meeting up people from across the globe. Yes, some of them will hail from super exciting places that have world-renowned attractions, but we’re sure there are loads of interesting touristy sights where you live, too. Chances are you’ve taken them for granted and never even visited so grab a backpack, water bottle and picnic and be a tourist on your own doorstep. You’ll be surprised at how proud you are when you start discussing them with your new uni friends! Start planning today at Visit Britain.
The next three to four years (or maybe even more!) are going to be pretty busy with studying, exams and, most important of all, socialising. Before heading off to uni, take a little time to give something back to the community you’re leaving. Whether it’s helping in the local charity shop, befriending someone in need, or even providing IT help at your local Citizens Advice, you can find the ideal volunteer position by searching the Do-it database.
There are so many expenses associated with going to uni and your parents will want to make sure that you’re well prepared before you go. Take a shopping trip with your parents and allow them to buy you the essentials you need – stationery, small kitchen appliances, a new tablet that you’ll totally use for taking notes in lectures and definitely not for Netflix.
7. Do you believe in Fête?
Summer is in full swing, as are the local fetes, county fairs and agricultural shows. They might not sound like the first place you’d go for a great day out but where else can you see livestock up close, eat deliciously fresh produce and indulge in a little tradition in an otherwise high-tech world? Here are a few lists of the local shows in Scotland, England and Wales.
University is all about preparation – after all, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. With that in mind, you can’t risk being at the mercy of thousands of other students using the uni WiFi at the same time. Be smart - use your parents’ WiFi before you leave to fill your tablet/smartphone with all the music/films/tv shows you could possibly need for your first semester (and repeat the process each time you head home for a visit!)
Nearly every parent packs their beloved child off to university with the Student Cookbook for Dummies, in the hopes that proper meals will be consumed. Take it one step further and book a set of cooking classes so you can wow your flatmates with sophisticated nosh, fit for the finest dinner party!
School’s over and it’s entirely possible that your current group of friends will all be heading off to begin new adventures. Whether they’re off to uni, starting a new job, or taking a gap year, make sure you get together for a last hurrah before going your separate ways. Recreate your 12th birthday with a trip to the bowling alley, perfect your tailslide at the skatepark or throw a bbq in the sun while listening to your favourite long-lost playlists from the way, way back of 2012.