University can be stressful. Trust us, we’ve been there. But adapting to uni life is a lot easier if you know where to look for help with budgeting, mental health support and Harvard referencing…
Being a student can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot to deal with. Making new friends, finding your way around Turnitin and managing your money… the struggle is real.
Try not to get too bogged down in the details though. After all, university is what you make of it. If you know where to go to get cheap food, help with essays and career support, you can’t go too far wrong!
Best resources to help with university
Here are the best useful websites for students that will help when you start university and beyond:
Best for: Cheap food
Approved Food is an online food retailer stocking products that are nearly (or already) past their best before date, but are still perfectly edible. Great for cheap dinners and healthy meals on a budget.
Best for: Amazon price tracking
This Amazon price tracker is essential for buying electronics and books online. It monitors Amazon products and alerts you when prices drop so you can get the best deal for your money.
Cite This For Me
Best for: Harvard referencing
Imagine if there was a Harvard referencing website that could do your bibliography for you? Well, there is (almost)! Simply enter your source into Cite This For Me then copy and paste the end product. You’re welcome.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Best for: Legal advice
Your landlord trying to pull a fast one with your deposit?
With a helpline and offices located all around the country, the Citizens Advice Bureau is a great port of call for any legal issues that may occur during your time at university, be it accommodation, finance or consumer rights-related.
Best for: Jobs for students from ethnic minorities
Diversifying is a search engine which includes job listings from companies who are keen to recruit people of different backgrounds and abilities.
It’s not as extensive as other popular search engines, but it has some interesting listings from the charity sector and public organisations.
Best for: Online courses
EdX is a ginormous open online course provider, including some which are completely free of charge. It hosts courses on an array of disciplines at university-level – great for learning new skills to add to your CV!
Best for: Environmentally friendly household products and food
This is a great option for topping up on household essentials like loo roll, laundry detergent and binbags. The Ethical Superstore is basically an eco-friendly online-only Tesco, and carries food, drink, health and beauty products and even clothes, just like a regular supermarket.
Best for: Free furniture
Looking for furniture for your uni room? Freecycle is filled with people advertising household items and old furniture they no longer use but don’t want to see thrown into a landfill. And, you guessed it, all for free!
Best for: Academic texts
Google Scholar is a search engine for academic texts across a wide variety of topics. Some texts are included in their entirety and some are just partially included (especially books), but it’s a great one for making your bibliography better.
Graduate Recruitment Bureau
Best for: Placing graduates in jobs after uni
A graduate recruitment consultancy connecting students with graduate recruiters, SMEs and start-ups who are looking for candidates for full-time graduate jobs, graduates schemes, placement years and internships.
Best for: Checking your spelling
Excellent spelling and grammar checker that you can install into your browser. No more typos in those essays!
Best for: Free e-Books of old texts
Project Gutenberg is an eBook library for free texts and books whose copyright has expired. Great for coursework, projects and making your essays better.
Best for: Not buying books on Amazon
For students worried about the ethical implications of making purchases on Amazon, Hive is a great alternative for books. It sells books from independent bookshops around the UK and gives a percentage of the profits back to them.
Best for: Price comparison
Similar to Camelcamelcamel, Idealo is a price comparison website for anything from smartphones to flights. A great research tool for bigger purchases.
Best for: Academic journals
A go-to for back-issues and current issues of academic journals, books and other primary sources for your essay needs!
Best for: Staying off social media
Does what it says on the tin: locks you out of your chosen poison, be it social media, Netflix or whichever site it is that has you three days behind your essay schedule…
Best for: Graduate jobs and internships
A job search engine (not a recruitment agency) specialising in positions, internships and placements for graduates.
Best for: Support for your mental health
One of the UK’s biggest mental health charities, Mind is a great place to turn to if you or one of your mates are struggling with any mental health issues. They also have a helpline if you’re in need of more immediate assistance.
Muslim Youth Helpline
Best for: Faith and culturally sensitive support
A charity providing help and support for young people of the Muslim faith. Their helpline service is open seven days a week, 365 days a year (including bank holidays and Eid). Email and webchat also available.
National Debt Line
Best for: Debt advice
Debtline is there to help people struggling with debt. You can get in touch with them by email, webchat or phone. Their website provides fact sheets on how to recover from debt, settlements and court proceedings.
Best for: Cashback
Save the Student
Best for: #Lit student money advice
Sexual Health London
Best for: Sexual health resources for London-based students
Working in partnership with the NHS, Sexual Health London provides free STI tests delivered to your house (if you live in London) and sexual health resources for Londoners.
Best for: Sexual health resources
SH24 provides free STI testing, diagnosis and treatment, oral contraception, the morning after pill and remote clinical support for people across the UK, excluding certain regions.
Best for: Advice about debt management
A debt charity for free expert advice on debt and debt management (great if you’re struggling with payday loans for example).
Best for: Uni mental health support
Not a helpline, but runs student-lead support groups at various UK universities.
Best for: Getting motivated
Videos of talks by experts from all over the world that will leave you feeling motivated (and that double up as a ‘useful’ way to procrastinate!).
The Ultimate Health Food Guide
Best for: Knowing the best food to eat when you’re sick
A product of BuyAGift, this is basically a table of what to eat and drink when you’re tired, for migraines, for concentration, for constipation… Especially useful when nursing a hangover!
Best for: Cashback
Best for: Word counting essays
We don’t know what kind of software you’re working with, but WordCounter is great if the programme you’re using doesn’t have a word counter included (and if you’re an avid Twitter user!). Also doubles up as a spell checker.
Best for: LGBTQ support
An LGBTQ charity for young people. Provides information on coming out, health and wellbeing, and LGBTQ support and community groups in your area.
Once you get to university, here are a few things you can do while you’re there to make your CV stand out to future employers!