Bagged your spot in accommodation? Congrats! Whether it’s student halls or a shared house, this is probably the first time you’ve lived away from your loved ones. From here, there’s a lot of fun (and OK, a fair bit of studying) ahead. Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you make yourself a new home away from home.
You might be leaving your nearest and dearest behind. You might be travelling across the country, or maybe even over the border into a new one. And you might be worried about how you’re going to cook, clean and look after yourself – never mind stay on top of your cash.
The good news is, you’re not going to be alone with any of it. So even if you end up feeling a little homesick (which is totally normal), it’s worth bearing in mind that all the students around you are in the same boat, and probably feel the same. And that nothing helps you make new friends faster than having something in common. Sure, adjusting might take some time, but it helps to see it as part of the adventure.
Give it a couple of weeks of touring campus, finding societies and new friends through your interests, and getting to know your housemates, and you’ll be well on your way.
New street. New town. New city. If this is your first time away from home, it probably feels pretty weird to step out of your place and into new surroundings. So, try to treat it like a holiday! Before you get too relaxed, you’ll want to know where the shops are… where the uni services are… and definitely where the decent restaurants and bars are. And, of course, where the buses and trains run from.
Grab a housemate and head out for a walk. In next to no time, you’ll find your bearings and know what’s what.
Don’t forget to do the important stuff, either, like registering for a GP, bagging yourself a student railcard, and checking broadband providers for student-friendly deals.
And if you don’t have a washing machine, get yourself all set by finding your local laundrette. Is it run by Circuit? Nice one! Grab the Circuit app, and you can find and book a machine, and even get a notification when your laundry’s done. No queueing, no waiting around.
First things first, make your room truly yours. It might sound cheesy, but having some home comforts – photos, keepsakes or, cough, your PlayStation – might be all you need. And let’s face it, you’ve probably never felt this free to decide on furnishings. If you can afford to, treat yourself to some cosy new bedding, or a few mood-boosting plants.
Beans on toast can only get you so far, so another great thing to get involved with is cooking. Master a few staples now and you’ll always have some tasty comforts to fall back on. Or a decent hangover cure.
But most importantly, remember that you’re never alone. Phone home, message friends, and reach out to those who matter. And if you ever end up really struggling, don’t do it silence. Your uni should offer a free confidential helpline as a first option, but you always have other options: