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How to survive – and thrive – at university!

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DSC_1209The Long Road Sixth Form College Progress Coaches work with students on their university applications and share their joy when they are offered a place on their dream course.

But what happens once you arrive at university? You are excited to be there and looking forward to your studies, but it might be the first time you’ve lived away from home, you don’t know anyone there, and you’re worried about budgeting.

To help our students prepare for university, Bryony Biamonti, one of our Progress Coaches, along with the other members of the Progress Coach team, planned a special event with information points, talks and a raffle. The stalls included:

  • Budgeting – how your money is likely to pan out, how to avoid spending all your money in the first week, understanding interest rates etc., student budget planner, using your Student Discount card;
  • What to do in your first week of university – how to make friends / cope with being away from home for the first time / avoid being lonely;
  • Health – enrolling with a GP / trying on ‘beer goggles’ to see how being drunk really incapacitates you, free drink ‘anti-spikers’, the dangers of smoking, how to avoid drugs and what to do if it all gets too much;
  • Entertainment and clothing on a budget – student discounts, charity shop chic, car boots, useful websites, cinema midweek deals, Student Union bars, and, if no money to go out, ideas for themed evenings at your accommodation, plus lots of free samples
  • Food- healthy and on a budget – bulk buy economy (3k bag of pasta on display – priced at £2.79, works out at under 7p per portion), recipe books, what to take with you (pots and pans), lots of samples of economical foods and drinks/ discount cards.

University Centre Peterborough gave two presentations  throughout the day on what students need to do to prepare for University and on the academic skills they will need.

Esther Sodeke


Raffle prizes were donated by Twinings Tea and the Arts Picturehouse Cambridge, with other prizes donated or specially selected as particularly useful for new university students:

  • A hamper of goodies – household / leaving home starter kit, displayed in a useful washing-up bowl
  • Free Picturehouse tickets
  • Hunger Games trilogy
  • The giant bag of pasta
  • Options Belgian hot chocolate drink
  • Options Mellow Creamy White drinking chocolate
  • Twinings tea bags
  • TX Maxx vouchers

“We are extremely grateful to Twinings and the Arts Picturehouse for providing free gifts for our raffle,,” says Bryony, “and also to CASUS (Child and Adolescent Substance Use Service) for lending us the beer goggles. The event was very successful, and we hope that students now feel a little more confident about taking that big step. We will be running the event again next year and hope that it will become a fixture in the College calendar.”

To see more photos, visit our Facebook page: Preparation for uni