Going to university is a big step. It often involves moving away from your friends and family, living independently for the first time and getting your head around a whole new lifestyle. That’s before you even get stuck into the studying! It can be daunting at first as lots of new people and experiences come rushing at you all at once.
Don’t be overwhelmed, there are many things you can do to help you settle into university life as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Make your room your own
If you’re living in halls, or even if you’re in a house share, your room may not feel particularly homely at first. While a full redecorating spree is unwise (and probably not allowed), a few touches can help it feel like yours straight away. You could bring some familiar items from home, or even treat yourself to a few new bits and bobs to help inject some personality and make your room feel like home. A rug or lamp, or even just a couple of posters or photos can make all the difference.
Leave a door open
One of the easiest things you can do in the early days is leave your door open and get to know your neighbours or anyone who is just passing. Everybody is in the same boat and will also be on the lookout for potential new mates. Just remember it’s not like school, at uni there’s far more people, so you don’t have to hang around with people you don’t like. You’ll soon find people with similar interests to you, and the people you meet at uni, may just become friends for life. This is the start of your network, so it’s a great time to start developing relationships with people.
Join a sports club or society
Freshers’ Week can be a bit of free for all, but it’s a great time to get to know your new university and find your way around. There will also be an opportunity to find out about all the societies and sports clubs that are available. Joining in is a brilliant way to make friends and have lots of fun. It’s the perfect way to carry on with a sport or hobby that you already do, or you can try something completely new! Expanding your horizons in this way will help you figure out what you like and don’t like. There is lots of hard work ahead, so balancing studying with some extra-curricular activities is a wise move, and it will help with the job application process later.
Create your own routine
Once the excitement of Freshers’ Week has subsided, the hard work starts! It’s a good idea to treat studying like a job. Start by getting your head around your timetable so that you know where you need to be and when. It’s a good idea to be organised from the beginning so that you don’t miss important deadlines and always know what is expected of you. With no parents or teachers breathing down your neck, you need to be responsible for yourself. Whether it’s a spreadsheet, a diary or lots of post its stuck everywhere, find a system that works for you and stick to it.
Don’t forget to phone home
University life can be a bit of a whirlwind, especially at the beginning, and it’s easy to get swept along in the excitement. Just remember to check in at home from time to time. Your parents will appreciate it and some people find it helpful to stave off homesickness. Telling your family about what you’ve been up to will make you realise just how much you’ve done and how far you’ve come.
Starting university is an exciting time, but it can also be scary. If you’re struggling to settle into university life, you won’t be the only one. Talk to those around you, it’s likely that some people will feel exactly like you. Also, your university will have services available to offer support and guidance to their students, so don’t be afraid to reach out.