Top tips to help you prepare for university

Wednesday July 31, 2019

University is an exciting and memorable time for many, but the prospect of getting all the equipment you need, making new friends, perhaps moving away from home or even to a new city can be really daunting.

There’s a lot of planning that goes into this big step into adult life, but we’re here to help all of our students with the transition – starting with our list of top tips we’ve picked up from welcoming new students to Confetti and to Nottingham.

What equipment should I buy?

Try and make sure you have the following items all sorted for when your course starts:

  • Stationary – diary or planner, notepad, pens, printer (if possible, as it’s cheaper than printing at libraries!)
  • Study material – notes, books or any other preparatory materials you’ve been advised to get hold of
  • Travel – travel card or a good supply of change, headphones for your commute, water bottle to keep you hydrated on the bus/tram

What should I buy for my room and accommodation?

Unpacking at your new accommodation is hard work, but it’ll be much easier if you prepare before moving day and get your hands on the following:

  • Kitchenware – pots, pans, cutlery, crockery and – most importantly – a mug for all the teas and coffees you are going to make
  • Homeware – make your room your own, and decorate it how you want with cushions, posters and trinkets that express who you are and make you feel at home
  • Health and beauty – be sure to pack your own toiletries, and be prepared for your flatmates to occasionally nick your shampoo! It’s always good to have some painkillers on-hand for the days after those late nights, too…
  • Autumn fashion – remember, you’ll be starting university in the Autumn, so make sure you’ve got enough jumpers, jeans and boots (or whatever takes your fancy) to keep you warm as the weather gets a bit chillier

How do I budget effectively?

Having a student loan payment coming into your account every few months is super exciting, but here are some handy tips so that you don’t spend it all at once:

  • Plan – draw up a budget plan, working out how much your accommodation, bills, food and other living costs will set you back with each student loan payment
  • Discounts – look out for discounts, vouchers and offers wherever you can – remember, having a NUS Extra card as a student comes with a whole host of benefits so remember to apply for one!
  • Part-time work – once you have your timetable, you may consider getting a part-time job – if it fits alongside your course and won’t impact your work, jobs can be a great way of earning some extra money during university
  • Save some – keep a small amount of money aside each time you get your loan payment for an emergency – you never know when you may urgently need that £50
  • Enjoy yourself – remember, it’s important to be responsible, but it’s also important to have fun, so don’t feel guilty about buying that inflatable banana, that wig, or that Wagamamas

How do I settle in and make friends?

You won’t be short on opportunities to make friends at Confetti. Not only will you meet some great people through your course, but there are plenty of other ways to socialise:

  • Campus – the common areas like the student café and LRC are shared with people of all ages from all course areas
  • Socials – as a student at Confetti, you will be part of Nottingham Trent University meaning you can get involved in the jam-packed NTSU socials calendar
  • Confetti Community – a group which brings students together and allows you to have a say in what activities get organised
  • Clubs – we run groups like the ever-popular Confetti Photography Club where you can try something new and meet some like-minded people in the process
  • Gigs – throughout the year, we host Confetti Live gigs at Metronome where you can go and watch your fellow students performing – tickets are free and there’s a fantastic bar, what’s not to like?
  • Here to help – if you’re struggling to connect with people, our friendly Student Ambassadors and staff on hand to help new starters feel right at home

“I’ve met some of the most supportive and genuine people that are on my course. Classes wouldn’t be the same without them all. We are like one big family.” – Robin, Games Art

student support

We’re friendly – come and talk to us

Remember – we’re here to help! If you need anything at all, the staff here at Confetti can provide support for a variety of issues so don’t be afraid to talk to somebody. Some of the contacts you may find helpful include:

For enquiries relating to personal support, contact our Student Support Team at

For enquiries relating to educational support, contact our Additional Learning Support team at

For general enquirires, contact our Confetti reception team at

Do you dream of taking a new step in your life and studying at university? Book your place on an upcoming open day and be inspired by all that Confetti has to offer.