Moving to University: Our Advice!
University is a really exciting time in many people’s lives, and often it involves moving away from home. While this new independence brings a lot of exciting challenges and opportunities, we don’t want you to miss out on all the fun of elections, so here is our guide to settling into uni and getting yourself registered to vote!
First, you need to move into your university accommodation. Whether its halls or a shared house, it’s going to be your new home, so make sure you make it really cosy and homely! We recommend bringing plenty of photos to decorate your room with and remind you of the journey through sixth form/college that got you to where you are today. Make sure you take a note of your new address, as you’ll need it for all those amazon book deliveries (and to register to vote).
It will be a bit emotional, especially if you’ve not lived away from home before. When your parents leave it might feel a little weird at first, but don’t worry – you’ll get through this!
Make sure you throw yourself into freshers week activities, it is the best way to beat the homesickness. But don’t forget to ring your family, and let them know how you’re getting on – they’ll be missing you too!
Never miss the freshers fair, here you’ll find information about all of the university societies (and usually get free stuff). It’s not a lie that joining societies is the BEST way to make friends, so take a look at whats available and join a few groups to help you meet some like-minded people.
Of course, if you’re interested in current affairs/politics, we recommend joining the politics society (if your uni has one). They’ll often organise debates, speakers, trips and socials, so even if you’re not studying the subject you can still keep up to date with current affairs and develop your debating skills. Most universities also have party political societies, so you can also join a group that suits your political outlook.
During freshers week you might be expected to complete some final registration stages, meet your lecturers and have an introduction to your course. While you’re dealing with all this life admin, we recommend doing something very important before you forget – registering to vote!
It only takes five minutes, you’ll just need your national insurance number and some basic information including your name, address, date of birth etc.
If you are a student, you may be able to register to vote at both your home and term-time addresses.
First, you’ll need to head to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and start filling in the form. You will be asked for your address, so use your student address first, as in the next step you can select that you are a student and add in your home address, enabling you to register to vote at both.
Once you’ve done it, you won’t have to think about it again unless you move. So when an election happens, you’ll already be registered to vote, and a polling card should be posted to you shortly before Polling Day.
According to the Electoral Commission; “If your home and university addresses are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections in both. However, even if you are registered in two areas – at home and at university – you can only vote in one at a general election.”
Don’t know why you should vote? Find out here.
Once you’re settled in, enjoy your time and grab every opportunity that comes your way. Uni goes way too fast, so make the most of it!