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Basic adulting: 6 places to find in your first weeks of uni

20 Aug 2019

So you’ve made it to university, you’ve survived freshers’ week and pretty soon you’ll be deep into your studies, learning how to look after yourself and making panicked phone calls to your Mum once a week about washing labels and sell-by dates (this doesn’t go away. You’ll still be doing this way into your twenties).

You’ve probably not had much of a chance to explore the local area yet, but even if you seem to have everything you need on campus, you will need to get out of your halls at some point.

Here are the six things you should find in your first few weeks of university:

1. Big Supermarket


If you want to eat more than paninis and muffins from the coffee shop while you’re at university, finding your nearest big supermarket is a good idea so you can do your “big shop”.  Bear in mind this might not be in walking distance, so if not, it’s a good idea to get a few of you together to split a taxi fare home. Even if you’re in catered halls it’s worth having some food in for the weekends and for snacks. If you plan to get your shopping delivered, check that your nearest supermarket delivers to your postcode before you fill up your virtual basket.

2. Corner shop

Even though they are spectacularly overpriced, no matter how solid your meal planning is, you’ll always need a corner shop nearby for milk, bread and that last-minute ingredient that you didn’t realise your housemate had snaffled until you were halfway through cooking dinner. Most halls of residence will have one of these, and there will be at least one on most campuses.

3. Post office

post office

You’ll use the post office more than you expect, whether it’s to post birthday cards to your friends from home or to send back your online shopping returns.  Plus you’ll feel like such a grown up the first time you buy stamps. Use the Post Office’s Branch Finder to find your nearest one.

4. A branch of your bank

Of course, you can do most of your banking online or on an app these days, but sometimes you need a face-to-face conversation with someone to reassure you that you’re not going to be crushed by your overdraft. And to cash cheques you get from your great aunt you haven’t seen since 2002.

5. A doctor’s practice

If you’re moving away for university, you’re likely to be spending more weeks of the year living away than you will back home, so it’s a good idea – although not essential – to register with a local GP. Many universities have a medical centre attached to them, but if not, the NHS website has a tool to help you find your nearest GP. Don’t wait until you’re already ill to register – nobody likes to fill in forms when they should be in bed!

6. The train station

train station

Unless you’ve brought a car to uni, you’re most likely going to be taking the train to get back home so find the train station early on. You never know when you’ll just need a weekend at home for some home comforts!

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