So, you’ve got your results and now you’re heading to university. Congratulations! The weeks before you move to your new home are daunting and scary to say the least but are also incredibly exciting! Everyone is in the same boat (I know you’ve heard it all before) and so everyone is nervous about what lies ahead! Even with COVID affecting Freshers’ this year, it is more important than ever to settle in well. To help you, here’s a list of 10 things to do to make the most of your university experience.
Talk to your flatmates before you move in
Find a group chat for your accommodation and try to find your flatmates through there. Set up another chat and get to know them! See who your room neighbour is, what they’re like as people, what interests you may (or may not!) have. From experience, I felt a lot closer to my flatmates before I had even met them; when we moved in, it was less awkward and more exciting :)
Chat to your housemates before you move in
Often you can find groups on Facebook for your accommodation and even your course. Here are some examples below:
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. But, if your flatmate is heading into town, ask if you can join them! Suggest walks into town, to The Taf or just a movie night in your own flat. It doesn’t matter what you do, but be up for trying new things and meeting new people; who knows who you could meet.
Join societies and clubs
If you have a keen interest in anime, enjoy baking on weekends, have a passion for exciting or almost anything else there is a Society for you! The Athletic Union also has a number of incredible sports team. These are especially good for settling in as you not only have training and matches with your team but the socials mean you can interact with people who play completely different sports whilst still having fun with your teammates.
Clubs and Socieites are a great way to make friends
Even though Freshers' Fair may look a little different this year there is nothing stopping you from joining clubs. It not only expands your interests but also introduces you to life-long friends and experiences.
Take a tour of your city
You most likely went on a tour for your open day but, if you’re anything like me, you will have forgotten what Cardiff was like when September rolls around. If the weather is nice (fingers crossed!), take yourself around Cardiff and see what it has to offer! It’s nice to see what the city has to offer, from museums, and restaurants to Cardiff Market and other shops. It’s also worth mentioning to take in the architecture and buildings too; one thing that helped me was finding my university buildings and familiarising myself with the city to make sure I don’t get lost (which still happens now!).
Stay in Cardiff for as long as possible
As nice as it is to go home (and it is lovely), try and stay in halls for a while before you head back home for a free washing machine. If you go home in the first few weeks of university, you might find it harder to settle into your new life properly and may still feel nervous even as Christmas approaches.
Decorate your student room
Moving away from home can make it seem like you’re leaving everything behind; but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Making your student room feel more like home can really put you at ease and let it feel like you’ve just started another chapter of your life, rather than a completely new ‘you’.?
Make your room feel homely
Budget. Seriously, we mean it.
Getting your student loan can feel like Christmas, your birthday and winning the lottery all at the same time. Whilst it’s amazing to be able to spend your money whenever you want, creating a weekly budget will help keep your money on track and stop you from feeling overwhelmed if you’ve got all this money but no safe way to spend it.
Go to your lectures
This might seem like an obvious tip but once you miss one, it’s so easy to settle into a routine of skipping more. The people on your course will understand exactly what you’re going through (professors and tutors too) so it’s important to form bonds with them right at the start to make your degree journey as smooth as possible. Also, it means that you don’t have to spend an evening catching up on missed lectures when you could be socialising with your mates…
Self-care is the best care
If there are some nights you don’t feel like partying, that is absolutely fine! Take some time to re-generate and care for yourself. Face masks, films, sweet treats; whatever it may be, have some time to yourself and do what makes you happy. If there are a few of your friends feeling the same, invite them round and have a self-care night! I guarantee it will help you feel more at home and closer to your mates.
Just have fun.
The title says it all really. Yes, uni is stressful and it can be an emotional rollercoaster if you’re especially sad about leaving home. But remember, you are also there because you deserve to be; you’ve worked hard so why not enjoy it! 3 years go by in the blink of an eye and, before you know it, you’ll be looking back on all the incredible memories you made at university :)?
Georgia Glenn | 2nd year student | English Literature with Creative Writing | @gee.glenn