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Sally is a key member of the MoneyMaxim editorial team. She is a frequent hire-car user and often goes on holiday with her family. With an interest in getting great value for money, Sally shares her hints and tips for travelling and insurance.
Exam season is finally over and students around the country are able to kick back and enjoy the summer before results day on the 17th August. Although places will not be confirmed until after that date, it is a good idea to start planning for the move to university in advance as there is a lot to think about!
There will be many essential items that you will need to take with you regardless of which university you will end up attending. With so many items on the packing list, insurance is one area you can start looking into especially gadget insurance for those more expensive items. Phones and tablets can help you with student life in many - sometimes unexpected - ways.
Spend as much time as you can this summer learning the basics of being independent. Do you know how to do your laundry? Change your bedding? Cook? Being able to knock up a few basic recipes is vital particularly if you are in self-catering accommodation. There are many on-line apps which can help with recipes and some even have videos which will walk you through the cooking process such as the Allrecipes Video Cookbook.
You will need to learn how to budget - those student loans don't stretch that far! Setting up a bank account if you do not already have one is something you can do early in the holidays.If you are worried that you will not be able to keep track of your finances, budgeting apps like Toshl Finance, can help you keep those pennies in control.
Living at university you will have to learn huge amounts of self-discipline starting with getting up in the morning. There will be no-one else to persuade you to get up for lectures. Phones and tablets do have alarms but it is very easy to turn them off and fall back to sleep. If you are really not a morning person try the Alarmy (Sleep if U can) app. It's cruel but kind!
Downloading the app for the university you are hoping to attend can help you keep in touch with what is going on - and many offer advice to potential students before and after results day. Find tips on where to go when you arrive, social events that may be taking place for freshers and how to join clubs or the library. It can all make your transition to university life that much smoother.
For those students who may find the transition a little bit harder - perhaps you are coping with autism or anxiety - then the Brain in Hand app can help you feel more confident and supported as you negotiate your way through the changes and all that student life has to offer. With a diary, coping strategies and a monitoring system, it could be just what you need to feel more positive.
The Moovit app is the ideal way to help you navigate your way through a new city. Most people will be moving to a university town that is completely unfamiliar to them. This app can provide you with train and bus times, maps, estimated walking times and even keep you up to date with any incidents which may affect your journey.
Are you wondering how you will track all of your assignments? If you think you will need help with prioritising essays or juggling studying and your personal life, Wunderlist gets very good ratings. You can use it to manage projects, set reminders and keep to-do lists (and you will have lots of those while you are planning your move to university!).
Whilst you are at uni, you may well be asked to take part in group projects. This can be tricky to deal with when you are living in different parts of the city or have different timetables. The Trello app helps you all to stay in touch, updates the project so that all members can see any changes that have taken place and sets up check-lists.
One of the most time consuming parts of academic study is referencing. It can be a minefield and is not something that most A level students have encountered before. RefME is described by students as taking away the stress of referencing and a go-to app when writing an essay. It just uses your camera to scan the book's barcode to turn it into a suitable reference.
As exams approach the work load can increase and so can the stress levels. The Examtime app offers facilities to create mind maps, flash cards and quizzes. You can even use it to collaborate with fellow students. It can also create revision timetables so put away those coloured pens!
Student life is not just about study - it is also about getting out and enjoying yourself while making new friends. At all times though, it is important to stay safe. Drunk Mode enables you to keep track of your friends when you are out and about so that no one gets separated and finds themselves alone at night. It can also follow your movements so you know exactly where you have been. And best of all it has a call blocker which means you need never again make that embarrassing phone call or text when you have had one too many.
So those mobile phones and tablets can do more than keep you updated on social media - they can play a big part in helping you cope with most aspects of student life. Some gadgets may be covered under your halls of residence or contents insurance but not always. And most will only be covered whilst they are in your room - not if you take them out and about with you. Losing a phone can be frustrating as it contains so much information but the situation is far worse if it is not adequately insured and you cannot afford a replacement. Gadget Insurance can cover multiple items so just click through on 'Get a Quote' and select the 'Add another gadget' option.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay