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    I'm going to sound so spoiled and be judged so much but I can't help it. I'm not rich, I don't have money thrown at me. I think my mum just does so much for me to compensate for not having a father. Anyway...

    I'm going to uni 350 miles away from home. I'm very dependent on my mum and I wish she'd forced me to do more for myself. Until about a year ago I'd never made a bed. I have no idea how to turn an oven on. I have no idea how to wash and separate clothes, or how to fold them. I've literally never done any paperwork before and with things like bills and student finance I don't know how I'll manage. I forget and lose things very easily, and I find it hard to keep anything tidy.

    Did anyone else feel like this before going to uni and how did you manage?
    Any tips on how to keep organized? I was thinking I should make a list of things I definitely need to go out on the door of my flat so I don't forget them, and buying a voucher for the closest supermarket so if I budget really badly I'm never starving.
    Do you think I should teach myself cooking/ironing/washing clothes now or wait till I'm at uni?

    I'm going to my dream university *hopefully* and don't want this to ruin my experience. Thank you.
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    I'd also like advice on this *watches thread*
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    Don't worry, i'm sure you're not the only one in this situation. You won't be alone, you will have flat mates who i'm sure will help.

    The best way for you to learn these things is to just go out and be forced to do them. A long the way you will learn how to cope. But before you do go to uni, it may be useful to ask your mum to teach you these things and help you so you atleast know the basics.

    In terms of finances, write up a basic budget and plan beforehand.
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    You'll meet a tonne of people in your shoes at uni and you'll learn as you go along. For most people, becoming an adult isn't some ceremonious occasion where you become a decade wiser overnight. You're pretty much ditched by your support system, everyone goes, 'hey, didn't you know? You're on your own now. Err, bye!', et voila -- you're an adult.

    For the first month or so, don't budget too strictly; just live as you would, and then at the end of it see how much you spent, what you were happy spending, what you regret spending money on, and work out a spreadsheet to see if your funds meet your needs and if they don't, where you'd cut money first. Honestly, it'll all feel natural as you do it; that's not to say you'll be good at it right away, you will screw up... but you'll get the hang eventually.

    This is all from someone over a grand in debt, by the way.

    Just chill.

    It'll alllllll be fiiiiiine...
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    You are entering the 'wild' your instincts shall aid you in survival.

    Lol but on a serious note you'll have a few months before uni so get learning! Tell your mom to teach you all these things it won't take very long.....

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    Don't worry too much; yep start learing how to cook NOW and the rest you will pick up.
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    Ask your mum to teach you as much as possible before you leave.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Until about a year ago I'd never made a bed. I have no idea how to turn an oven on. I have no idea how to wash and separate clothes, or how to fold them. I've literally never done any paperwork before and with things like bills and student finance I don't know how I'll manage.

    Do you think I should teach myself cooking/ironing/washing clothes now or wait till I'm at uni?
    Just ask your mum to teach you a few basics between now and September. I was going self-catering so I bought a blank cookery book and wrote down some of my favourite recipes in it ... that was really helpful. Though if you've never cooked you might want to think about catered halls for the first year.

    But don't worry too much - everyone will be in a similar situation and will all be learning how to stand on their own two feet and live with new people.
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    You won't be the only one - but yes, I would start practising now.
    Just make more meals yourself. Find out what's quick and easy to do (and cheap!). Pastas/Rice is good for that. Also get your mum to show you how to use your washer. The uni one may look a little different, but they all do the same thing.

    As for budgeting, just don't go overboard on buying food... Buy things that you won't waste. For example, buying lots of fresh veg that you don't use in time and end up throwing. I buy frozen veg for this reason. It's a lot easier.
    Maybe try to work out how much you have per term, and so how much you have each week. Then you'll know if you're going over your budget.
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    It's only April and you won't start uni until September, so you've still got time! Ask your mum to show you how to do things like make a bed, turn an oven on (although all ovens are different), do your laundry...she's obviously not "forcing" you to do these things for yourself, or to learn how to do them, and you're worried that you're going to struggle with them, so show some initiative and ask.

    As far as Student Finance goes, you'll only have to do one form for it. Get your mum to sit with you while you fill it in and help you with it. I still hate doing my student finance application; I've got to do it for the third time this week. You won't have to deal with bills to start off with unless you end up living in a house, but in first year that's very unlikely. All bills are included in the rent in halls.

    I felt a little bit like that before I went to uni - my parents would often tell me that they thought I'd struggle to live on my own as they did quite a bit for me and I'd never really cooked for myself (I tended to just eat rubbish rather than make myself a proper lunch if I was left in the house all day alone, for example). I started off in catered accommodation which I think eased the transition for me, because I didn't have to cook for myself very often, so I could get used to all other aspects of independent life without having that to do. But you do manage and get used to it even if you are self-catered. I surprised my parents by cooking proper meals most of the time and managing to do my laundry successfully every time (save from losing a few socks).

    When it comes to keeping organized, I'd say one of the best things to do is write lists. Lots of them! And leave them on your desk where you'll keep seeing them. If there's something important you need to do, it'll remind you that you need to do it. Keep a copy of your timetable pinned up on the wall (and if you don't get a paper copy, make one for yourself) and pack your bag for the next day before you go to bed the night before. Make sure you get up in good time to get to lectures so you're not in a rush in a morning to allow for forgetting something.

    Budget financially by really thinking about whether you actually need what you're about to buy and how much money you'll be left with if you do buy it. Plan out your meals for the week in advance and do it so that you have to buy as little food as possible, e.g. if you want to cook spaghetti bolognese one night but you know you can only buy mince in massive packets, cook something else that uses mince another night, and only buy the food you really need. It's tempting when shopping for yourself to pile things like biscuits and chocolate into the trolley but it's better to go for what you can use to make proper meals first so you're actually eating properly and then see if you have any money left over for things like that. Learn how to cook things from scratch. Ready meals are an easy option, but they're expensive and unhealthy - cooking things from scratch is much cheaper and healthier.

    Do learn how to do those things before you go to uni (although I don't see ironing as necessary :p:). Especially how to do laundry. Don't be like one of my friends who bought new underwear because she'd run out of clean pairs and couldn't be bothered to wash any. It won't ruin your experience if you can't do them and you would learn how to do them eventually, but it'll save you a lot of time and money when you get there if you can.
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    When I was at uni, the washer and dryer had instructions on how to use them. They weren't that hard to use.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    When I was at uni, the washer and dryer had instructions on how to use them. They weren't that hard to use.
    So did ours, but it didn't stop me trying to put dirty clothes in the dryer first.
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    Maybe it was just my Uni, but most people seemed clued up on the things you described above and those that weren't, well we just had a laugh about it so don't worry too much. My advice is Learn as much as you can now e.g ironing, how to use an oven etc. Mainly because asking for help every now and then isn't a problem but if you're continually asking for help, people *might* get fed up and just leave you to figure it out yourself.


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    Watch some Bear Grylls (and Les Stroud to mix it up), they will help you learn to survive.
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    you learn quickly when you have to
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    Yes, learn before you go. Otherwise you'll end up like my flatmate from first year who lived off a diet almost entirely comprised of chicken dippers and potato smileys. Unsurprisingly, he looked malnourished. Cook some meals with your mum, and invest in a decent student cookbook - I like the Hamlyn ones, and the Beyond Baked Beans series. And remember - most foodstuffs have some sort of instructions on them - even packets of pasta have step by step instructions on them. Everyone has to learn sooner or later - it's not just a skill that is bestowed randomly on a few lucky ones.

    Washing your clothes isn't difficult. Separate it into two piles - stuff that leaks dye and stuff that doesn't. If you don't do this then you will turn everything pink / grey. Put it in the washing machine, set to some cycle at 40C, add some washing powder into the right section of the door (for how much, check the packet) and turn it on. Not hard. I know of one person who left his dirty washing in the halls launderette, and came back the next day to find that it hadn't been washed for him. He was so upset that he rang his mum. Don't be that guy.

    There isn't that much paperwork in first year - it all starts when you move into a shared house. However, you'll have flatmates who can help you with it, and for the most part there are instructions for what you have to do next on the letters they send you.

    For a budget, work out how much you have for the term. Subtract rent, and known significant expenses (house deposit, society membership, freshers week) and divide the rest by the number of weeks it has to last you. Don't spend more than that.
 
 
 
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