Its the time of year when countless teenagers (and older) pack their bags and head off to a different city to study at University. Ten years ago I was one of them. I can’t believe that it was that long ago to be honest it seems like yesterday but a decade ago it was. So I thought I would compile a little list of tips to survive the first few weeks.
- Pack less than you think. Everyone always takes too much in terms of kitchen utensils and pots and pans. You can share with other housemates (if they are clean!) or just buy cheap ones from Ikea, Wilkinsons or even Primark when you get there.
- Take home comforts. Your favourite duvet set, photos, posters etc that you usually have. It will brighten up your room and make you feel at home.
- Leave your door open. When you unpack your room leave your door open so that you can say hi to people as they arrive. Offer to make a cup of tea, anything to break the ice. They wont bite!
- Go to the student union. You may or may not be a drinker but go anyway just for a soft drink. Get to know your housemates you will be seeing them a lot over the next ten months.
- Don’t be afraid to admit you miss your mum. Everyone feels homesick I am certain of it so talk about it. Phone your parents/siblings up if you are missing them. Skype, facetime, instagram etc all makes it so much easier to connect these days. Don’t let it engulf you, they miss you too but you are there to grow as a person and be independent and it gets easier.
- Join in. Go to freshers fayre (you get free stuff), join a club or society, check out the classes outside of your course all great ways to get to know people.
- Don’t suffer in silence. If you feel overwhelmed by your course talk to the lecturers, university teachers are a lot more approachable than you think. If you hate your housemates, talk to someone can you move? If you are suffering with depression, seek help. Student counselling is far easier to obtain than going to your GP and being put on a waiting list. If you don’t think your course is for you ask if you can defer or transfer to another there is normally always another option. And if you don’t think University is for you then that is fine too. Don’t stay just because you think you should. Its three years of your life and should be a happy time.
- Enjoy it. Learn, learn and learn. Not just your degree but life, living with others, exploring a new city, friendships and growing up. It is all a learning curve and if you have as much of a great time as I did then you will love it!
Hope that all of you who are currently settling into new digs have a great time. Be yourself and enjoy.