You’ve studied hard, you’ve got the grades and now you’re off to university! This is the journey that many students are taking, but how prepared are they to leave home, stand on their own two feet and be self-sufficient? One study, carried out by the Higher Education Policy Institute and Unite Students in 2017, suggested that as well as being excited and nervous, many students are deeply ill-informed about what to expect.Of course, flying the nest to go to university is the opportunity of a lifetime, but to make the most of it needs some preparation before you arrive. This means learning life skills such as cooking and cleaning. You’ll no longer be able to rely on Mum and Dad to feed you or clear up after you, so try to learn how to make some staple dishes that are quick and easy to prepare. Graduate Peter Rogers told the BBC: “I didn’t really have anything other than rudimentary cookery skills before I went to university and found learning to cook was reasonably enjoyable.” Other things to do while at home is to practise some of those household chores, like operating the washing machine or ironing your clothes!These domestic skills will come in useful because students will probably be living with others such as in a flat share or shared campus-based accommodation. This will also require taking responsibility for managing their finances because, apart from tuition fees, accommodation is likely to be the biggest cost for students living away from home. However, the Higher Education Policy Institute and Unite Students study found only about half of the would-be students surveyed identified rent as the biggest expense and concluded that this suggests more should be done to help in the transition between school and university.New students are going to have to be sociable as well – not just relying on old friends at home. Going to university requires meeting new people and making new friends. This often begins in Freshers’ Week although journalism student Emmeke Megannety warns that: “People starting uni need to remember that the people you meet in your first week will not necessarily be your friends for life.” But whatever your expectations, it’s good to be prepared for the time of your life.