Produced by Kacey
BA (Hons) International Tourism and Hospitality Management
The first day of moving to your new university town will come, whether you’re excited, nervous, or secretly dreading it. There are lots of things to think about regarding the big move, and these are some of my top tips for getting through the first couple of weeks of adjusting to a new environment with a different routine, new people, and responsibilities.
Firstly – deciding what to take with you and what to leave at home. I found that everybody tends to overpack when they first move to university – keep in mind you don’t have an unlimited amount of space in your bedroom, and you will also be sharing space in the kitchen! In the lead-up to the big moving day, I was actually very fortunate to find all of my new flatmates online in Facebook groups; we made a group chat with all of us and were able to sort a couple of things between us – such as who’s bringing a kettle, toaster, etc (walking into friends flat to see seven different kettles – while amusing – is very unnecessary) so if you can help each other out then it makes life ten times easier.
When it does finally get to those first couple weeks of living in your new flat, I think there are some things that you need to keep in mind. The first lesson that my friends and I learned quickly – not everybody will live the same way that you live at home. Some people will be messy, some will be super clean, and some will have interesting cooking styles (cooking pesto pasta at 3AM wasn’t out of the norm) – and you need to keep this very much in mind when you get to know your flatmates.
As well as this, keep in mind that some of your flatmates may be quite shy or super outgoing when you first meet them – don’t judge them based on the first impression! They may just need time to adjust to new people and a new environment. I experienced this during my first couple of weeks at Bournemouth; one of my flatmates (a super lovely international student from Norway) seemed very shy in the first two weeks of living together and didn’t seem to want to socialise much – little did I know she was just feeling very homesick and missing her family and she then told me she’s not usually a super extroverted person when meeting new people for the first time. Cut to the present day, I’m now two weeks away from finishing my second year and that international student is now one of my best friends – I even went on holiday to her hometown in Oslo over Christmas break!
Budget your life. I can’t stress this enough. Make a budget for all your outgoings while you’re at uni. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a day by day excel spreadsheet that accounts for every single penny you’ll spend. Just take 15 minutes when you first move or even before you move to look at how much money you will have each month – and then budget yourself weekly, including the maximum budget for your weekly shop, any money for transportation if you opt out of the bus pass, budgets for cleaning chemicals and laundry detergent/ conditioner, money for laundry machines and not to forget budgeting for nights out and day trips! Budgeting helped me massively during first year, as I knew some people who wouldn’t budget out their money… spend all of their money on nights out, and then be stuck eating pot noodles for a few weeks until the next student loan instalment dropped.
Look forward to the Big Move!