By Holly Barry, @HJBarry
The big move is about to arrive and this time next month, you’ll be arranging for all of your belongings to be shifted into your student accommodation as you prepare to start your first year at university!
Up until now you’ve been living comfortably at home with the cooking, cleaning and washing done for you. But with independence about to be thrust upon you, getting to grips with shared chores, laundry and cooking sooner rather than later, may be a blessing in disguise.
Whilst there’s little joy in domestic tasks, you’ll soon find that moving in with your friends was the best decision you ever made. So, to make sure you take the best out of your experience, here are a few top tips on making the process a smooth one.
Food – What’s Mine is Yours?
The politics of sharing food in halls is notorious. Some nights you might cook together, others you may have a movie night where you all contribute snacks, and sometimes your food might mysteriously ‘disappear’. It so follows that it’s a good idea to discuss food etiquette with your housemates, deciding together what to share (milk, bread, butter) and what you’d prefer to keep as your own (peanut butter, fruit, or foods for specific dietary needs).
With your new, hectic regime you may also find it difficult to keep track of your food, throwing much of it away before you even had a chance to eat it. Avoid waste by storing your food properly. For example, don’t store your tomatoes in the fridge, as this will dry them out.
We are Family
Moving away from home can be a daunting experience, but you’ll soon find that living with friends means you always have somebody there to keep you company. Remember that you’re all in the same boat and going through the same thing. If you do struggle to settle in initially, remember that there is an abundance of support at university from mentors, residence teams, and advisors. Additionally, your family are just a phone, Skype or train ride away.
On the run up to your big move, make sure you’re fully prepared for what’s to come. By making a checklist beforehand you’ll be sure to get all the life admin out of the way beforehand and nothing will be left behind or forgotten about. This will ensure a stress-free move too and allow you to get involved and get stuck in to your first few years parent free!
University is a time for exploration. It’s where you meet people from a variety of backgrounds and do things that you never thought you’d do! There are hundreds of opportunities to try new things, by joining socials, taking up new hobbies or doing classes at the gym. From competitive eating to beekeeping, there’s a society out there for you.
There are also endless student nights out accompanied by cheap drinks, good music and plenty of opportunity to meet new people! So get stuck in, try something new and get chatting.
One of the greatest skills you learn when you move in with people for the first time is tolerance. You’ll meet people from all walks of life with all sorts of unusual habits. Remember to approach everybody with an open mind and give people the benefit of the doubt. If somebody leaves their dishes for a few days, don’t flip out! Just ask them politely to clean up. Remember, compromise is key.
During the initial few weeks of university life, it won’t be your lectures that occupy most of your time, rather you’ll be socializing and getting to know your new friends. Although this is a really exciting time, it’s important to strike a balance between socializing and giving yourself some space.
Try going out on your own and getting a feel for the campus and city. Find the nearest grocery store and get comfortable in your area. This will help you to feel confident and self-assured. Also set time aside to relax outside of socializing and studying, either by watching your favorite Netflix series or reading a book.
Privacy also extends into the digital realm too. Having moved into halls you’ll no doubt connect your devices to a wide digital network. To avoid losing all of your work to the rising risk of ransomware, ensure that all your software is up to date and change any default passwords.