As a third-year student at the University of York, I have been through the excitement (and worry) of settling into university and I’m here to share my top tips for ‘how to settle into university life.’ Starting university is a daunting experience for most and it’s more than okay for it to take some time to settle into student life. Being further away from friends and family; not having your usual home comforts; and being independent are certainly big changes in any student’s life! Ultimately, everybody is in the same boat – everyone is feeling the same way!
1. Bring photos and/or home comforts
If you are staying in student accommodation or private rented accommodation, you might find yourself longing for home comforts when feeling homesick. There is no ultimate guide to homesickness in my opinion. You might never feel it, it might be there for a little while, or it might be there intermittently throughout university. Despite this, there are ways to make yourself feel better and more at home. In my first year, I made sure to print off lots of photos to pin on my pinboards (I was lucky enough to have three large pinboards, but student halls do tend to have big boards for you to utilise)! I recommend spending time making your new space ‘your own.’ For me, this helped me relax quickly at university and it was also fun to decorate my new room!
2. Don’t shy away from contacting home
Just because you’ve moved away from home doesn’t mean that you can’t contact home! Calling your friends and family at the end of the day can be a really nice routine. You can discuss how everyone is doing and all the exciting things that you are up to at university!
3. Make new routines
At first, you might find university life quite hectic and overwhelming. Making new routines at university can definitely help with this! For example, you might like to prioritise a certain day every week to socialise with friends or explore somewhere new (and give yourself a well-deserved break from university work). In my second year of university, every Wednesday me and my friends would go out for a meal together, but I wish I’d have implemented a ‘set day to explore’ in my first year.
To settle into your new accommodation, you might find it helpful to socialise with your new flatmates. You can offer to help them move their belongings in and show them your new room! You’ll find people everywhere at university – your flatmates, course mates, society friends! Make different plans with your new friends and settle into your new city together. It’s really exciting to explore the new place you are now living in! In York, one of my favourite places to relax and read is the York Museum Gardens – plus it is a great place to spend time with your friends!
Finally, I can imagine you might be reading this because you’re an upcoming undergraduate student, or you might already be a student and are in the process of figuring out how to settle into university. If you’ve received an offer, congratulations and I really hope this short guide has helped to ease your mind! On the other hand, If you’re already at university: stick with it, take every day as it comes and enjoy all of your new experiences.
If you do need help at university, the Student Hub is a fantastic source of support.