Moving away to University | Lifestyle

25 Aug 2015


Hey guys! Last night whilst browsing my universities home page (I was also looking at my schedule and classes for my third year) I came across a number of banners, etc reminding everyone that freshers were soon upon us! With September being literally less than a week away I've started to get back into uni mode, especially with it being my final year I've started to prepare for my dissertation (yep the dreaded end game!) It got me thinking right to the beginning, when I was a nervous ball of Jess, unpacking all my belongings out of my dads van, staring up at a tall old fashioned building in York which was going to be my home for a year. I stayed in student accommodation first year and man, my building was seriously old with a lot of problems. I'd shot off straight after work with my parents to pick up the keys so I was the last to move in, out of the three other girls I would be sharing a flat with. I repeated to myself I didn't want to be on the ground floor, I didn't want to be near the kitchen and I really really didn't just want to have a kitchen which is the least unsocial spot to have a chat with anyone ever. 

Unfortunately I got all three of those things, my mum letting out a little 'awh' when we found my flat which was on the ground floor, got to my room which was the end room down the hall next to the kitchen and the kitchen...well, my building was old and sadly so was the kitchen. I wanted to unpack all my stuff, make my parents stay around as long as possible but also address the three other girls who were already all making chit chat as they unpacked. Funnily enough, when I first walked into the flat I power walked straight to the end of the hall without saying hi to the one girl who now is my house mate of two years, who I went on holiday with and who I would refer to as my best friend. Crazy right!

  I had no idea what to expect or what to do and somehow it would of all been easier if I had read a guide or found a blog post by a student blogger addressing that scary first day! Bearing this in mind, now that I have my experience of first year under my belt, I thought I would create a post about that first day in hope to help ease any minds of the freshers who are about to venture to university. 

Finding your flatmates before moving in 
Finding the people you're going to be living with is something I suggest you all attempt to do in summer before moving, it will come in handy in so many different aspects. Not only can you already start to chat and get to know each other (and also have a stalk on their facebook to see what kind of person they are) but you can start to discuss who is going to bring what! You don't want everyone turning up with four kettles, four toasters, etc, so life can be made easier if you make a group chat and suggest who brings what. This way it also saves you money because you're not all having to buy all these items which are essential but you definitely don't need more than one! How can you find who you'll be living with? How my university did it was I received an email telling me which accommodation I had been accepted into and also the flat number I would be in! Then it all happens on facebook, search the accommodation through the social media site and it would probably be something along the lines of 'your accommodation name' and 'freshers with the year you're starting uni'. Someone from the union normally runs the page and will accept you onto it, then you can start asking if anyone is in your room or reply to anyone who has asked the same questions about your flat! I only found one flat mate this way because the other two didn't have facebook, but we managed to chat about who would bring what, what we thought the other two would be like, etc. It made it alot easier when meeting them in person because we had already spoken for weeks. 

Be careful what you pack
I know it can be very difficult packing your life into one car and moving away, but definitely only take the essentials with you and probably not even that. You're gonna find there are little things you forgot to buy but luckily someone will have brought it (I forgot my iron like an idiot.) You don't want to over pack and have junk cluttering your student room, but at the same time give your room personality by sticking up posters, fairy lights, wall hangings etc. As an art students my room was decorated alot with art and hanging lights, I loved chilling on my bed with all my lamps on in the evenings of winter. To help you not forget anything too major create a list and go  through it with your mum, mums know all and they know best when it comes to creating a household. One thing we did as a flat was have our own sets of plates and cutlery, where as my neighbors for example all shared the same sets, so its completely up to you guys a flat. 

Definitely take a bed throw
This was the first item I purchased for university and I kid you not, it will be the most used item you'll ever buy. I spent alot of my first year napping in that throw, walking around in the throw, using it when as a flat we watched films and when it gets cold (especial in my out of dated flat) it was a life saver for the extra layer of warmth. Buy a throw, any student or past student will tell you the same thing. 

Make friends with the people you live with 
Whether you're the first person into the flat or the last like I was, definitely go out of your way to welcome them into your room or go into theirs. You're going to be living with these people for atleast a year, you definitely need to be on comfortable terms. Another reason for this is the first two weeks of living there will also be freshers, so that first night you will more than likely go out with the people you live with. That won't happen if you've ran straight into your room and locked the door to pack. This takes me onto another point buy a door stop! This way you can keep your door open those two weeks to be more social and have your flat mates walk by and walk in, making it ten times easier to chat to them. Those people you live with may very well be the people you choose to move in with for your second and third year when you move into a house, or even become your best friends.

  Buy a student rail card
Some banks offer this free when you create a student account which I found out once already setting mine up and starting university! I personally didn't do this so I know hope much you definitely need one. It has cost me a bomb going home on the train to see friends, family, travelling to see boyfriends so take advantage of this and buy a student rail card! It knocks a big chunk of the price off so go for it. 

Spend a good hour checking your flat out
With your welcome package and your keys, you will get a check list of things that should be in your and your flat. With your parents or with your flat mates just go around the place checking its all there and working. You're supposed to report if anything doesn't work, but I would also take photo evidence for at the end of the year when you're wanting your deposit back. If they claim anything is broken or not there, you have the evidence that it was or it was originally missing/broken from the beginning. Also have your maintenance man's number in your phone, things are going to break like light bulbs, etc and they're happy to come help. I managed to break my curtain pole and they fixed it in no time. However this outraged my other house mate because her wardrobe had been broken for weeks, but curtains were deemed more important considering we lived at the front of a really busy road!

Go to freshers!
Even if you're not the 'going out party' guy, definitely do not miss freshers. All the nights might sound cheesy like 'wheres wally' or 'army night' but you make some good friends and you have the stereotypical student experience. For me this stopped the second university got serious in second year so do it, don't miss out because it puts you out of your comfort zone. Drink loads, get messy, be the annoying load girls in the bar but experience atleast for these two weeks of not having to care! 

These were straight away the go to thoughts for me when thinking of my first days at university, so I hope they were helpful and you liked reading this post. If you're a fresher going to university this year good luck! It's not as scary as it seems.