Moving out for the first time can seem pretty scary
But if you’re worried about leaving home, you’re definitely not alone. Although there are plenty of benefits to moving for university, it’s completely natural to feel anxious about your next steps. After all, feeling comfortable where you’re living is central to your overall wellbeing while you’re at uni. Lucky for you, that’s exactly what we’re here to help with! We’ll tell you what to expect from uni accommodation, how to deal with feeling homesick and how to make the most of your new surroundings.
First things first, you’ll need to understand what type of accommodation you can choose from, right? When deciding where you want to live, you’ll need to weigh up some options, such as:
- Is meeting new people important to you?
- Do you want the opportunity to be catered for?
- Do you want your own bathroom, or are you ok with sharing?
- Do you want to live on-campus, or would you prefer to live somewhere quieter?
Depending on your answers, you’ll either be more suited to university halls of residence or privately owned accommodation.
Halls of residence
University halls of residence are flats that house lots of students, all from one specific university. These flats come furnished with communal areas and a bathroom – which can be en-suite or shared.
University halls are, of course, managed by your university, so you apply for your accommodation through the uni website. The good thing about uni halls? All your bills are included, you’ll live on or near a campus, get to meet first-year students just like yourself and have the option to choose catered living. This will increase the cost of your rent, but it means not eating beans on toast every day - and that’s a huge plus.
That said, halls can be rowdy, so if you prefer a quieter life, perhaps choose privately owned accommodation like a student house or smaller flat.
Talking of private accommodation, let’s discuss this more, shall we?
Private accommodation, like a flat or house, usually houses three to eight students. This is the option usually chosen by second or third-year students, as you can move in with friends you meet in your first year. There are bills-included options for private accommodation, or you can pay your rent to the landlord/letting agent, and your bills separately. One bill you don’t have to worry about as a student though, is council tax.
Making your house your home
Ok – enough about nasty stuff like bills, and more on your new digs! Once you’ve decided where you want to live, how can you make it your own and make it feel homely?
First, consider taking some stuff from home – like pictures or other mementoes that’ll comfort you while you’re away. These will make your new room feel more like your old one, and may help you if you’re feeling homesick.
Next - make it comfy. In other words, time for a homeware shopping spree! Get some nice new bedding, some cosy throws, cute decorations, whatever you need to make your new space feel warm and homely and to make you enjoy living there. Student accommodation is a very blank canvas, so it’s the perfect chance to put your own spin on things.
Aside from decorating, you can also minimise feeling homesick in other ways. For example, make sure to keep in regular contact with your family and friends. This means texting and calling often and visiting home, too! Spending some good quality time with those you’re closest to is sure to make you feel better about the distance.
That said, it’s important not to rely on your relationships back home too much, to the point that it stops you from getting to know new people. Making friends with your flatmates and course-mates will be a godsend if you’ve moved to a new place, as it’ll make you feel less isolated. Don’t turn your nose up at freshers events or parties, as these are a great way to meet people experiencing the same things as you, who you perhaps may have never met because they do a different course or attend a different uni. Moving away from home can be a scary time, but knowing a whole lot of other students are in the same boat can be a comfort – use your time getting to know these people. Once you’ve made new friends, go out and explore the city/town and bask in your newfound independence! You’ll feel comfortable as ever in no time.
So, feel better now? We sure hope so! We know moving away can be tough, but it’s also a great opportunity to make lasting connections and lasting memories, and who wouldn’t want that?