Moving to university? My advice to new students
3rd September 2015
Before we begin, I know I spelt stationery wrong in the photo. I have trouble spelling, if you hadn’t already guessed. Also, your list should be a bit longer than this one.
September is here, which means many students will be starting university and moving away from home. It’s terrifying, but in my experience it’s a lot of fun and 100% worthwhile!
Today I’m going to share my advice on moving to university and into student accommodation/halls of residence, with some handy tips to help you along the way.
Order a food delivery before you go
On the day you move into halls, the last thing you will want to think about is going out to buy food, but it’s something that you will need to do.
So,why not order a grocery delivery to your halls of residence before you go to university and get it delivered on the day you move in or the day after? This will not only save you going to the shops on the first day, when you’d much rather be drinking with your new flat mates, but it will also save room in the car when moving because you don’t have to take food supplies with you.
(I wish I could take credit for this idea but it’s actually Tyrone’s.)
Take an “ice-breaker”
When I moved into halls I bought a bottle of wine to share with my new flat mates, and my flat mate Sharon turned up with a box of Krispy Kremes. I guess you could call these “ice-breakers”.
If you are nervous about meeting your new flat mates (which you probably will be), having something like a bottle of wine or a box of doughnuts to say “hey, want to share?” is such a good way to break the ice and to start a conversation.
When you first meet your flat mates remember to just be yourself. I feel like some students put on a fake persona to try and fit the typical student stereotype.
I honestly thought I would have to do this when I moved to university because I’m not much of a drinker (honestly, I’m not!) and I don’t really care for the party scene, but in the end I found it much easier to admit the truth and just be myself. Don’t try and be cool just to fit in.
Don’t take too much stuff
I definitely over-packed when I went to university. This was problematic because a) It was a struggle to get everything in the car, and b) My room became really cluttered.
If your halls of residence is anything like mine you will have a tiny room with a serious lack of storage space, so I’d suggest only taking the essentials. Of course, take some reminders of home to help you to feel more comfortable in your new surroundings, but don’t take everything you own. Also, I suggest researching what will be provided for you in the halls before you go. For example, our kitchen was stocked with cutlery, plates, bowls, etc. and so I really didn’t need to take my own.
Make a detailed inventory
This applies to both halls of residence and privately rented accommodation. You should be provided with an inventory when you move in, but if not, I’d recommend making one. Make notes of any damage to the room or furniture that is not noted on the inventory and be specific. You see, some landlords can be really harsh and will find any reason to not give your deposit back (I got charged for freezer draws, which broke after I moved out!). Don’t give them a reason to do this!
Register with a GP – and do your research!
Your parents and your university will tell you to register with a doctor if you are moving away from home, and you will role your eyes and add it to the bottom of your to do list. But seriously, register with a GP ASAP!
However, don’t just go for the doctors surgery that is closest to you. Do your research to find the best surgery for you (you can use NHS Choices).
Why does this matter? Well, when I moved to Liverpool, all the students registered with the sugery that was located within the halls of residence building itself. However, this surgery has a terrible reputation and everyone told me it was rubbish. I, however, did my research and registered with a GP that was a 20 minute walk away, and that had a much higher rating on NHS Choices. Turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as they have helped me so much with my hip condition.
Other general advice
- Pack an Ethernet cable – so many halls still don’t have WiFi.
- Pack some earplugs, especially if you are a light sleeper.
- Take vitamin supplements and cold and flu remedies – you will get freshers flu, I guarantee.
- Discover when the laundry is at it’s quietest – usually Sunday mornings.
- Don’t be an arsehole – be considerate of your neighbours.
- Learn to label your food – especially cheese.
- Try and have fun!
Some other handy posts to read…
I’m just going to leave these here:
- How I saved, spent and made money as a student
- How to be a super organised student
- How to survive Christmas on a student loan
- Adapting to life in a city
- How to improve shared living with Roommate Harmony