The first year of anything new can be tough. The first year of university, especially so. Fear not, though, as here are my top tips on how to survive. Let me show you how to take 1st Year by the Viking horns.
Tips for living in uni accommodation
Living in university accommodation is likely one of the first major uni experiences you’ll have. This can be daunting, as you’ll likely not have lived like this before. Top tip #01 would be to start with your room, and personalise it in any way you choose (within the accommodation rules, of course). One thing I did was pin up postcards and my native Yorkshire flag on the pinboards to give it more of a ‘me’ vibe.
Top tip #02 would be to familiarise yourself with the facilities, like bathrooms (if shared), kitchens and washing machines. This will make the experience seem less alien, and help you relax and settle in.
Tips for living with flatmates
Another major part of the first year of uni is living in a student flat. This is exciting, as these flatmates could become some of your friends for life, or your most important relationships. I’d say that my most important piece of advice would be the ability to compromise. Student flats will vary in size, and most likely consist of people with different views and opinions on how flat life should work.
It’s important to maintain a balance in the flat, in which everyone feels comfortable, welcome and respected. If, there’s an issue, ask yourself, ‘Is it really worth worrying over?’ If it is, then by all means bring it up, but in a calm and non-aggravating way.
Top tip #03 is to find ways to break the ice with your flatmates. This could vary from forming a flat group chat, to attending college events together. It could even be something as simple as knocking on the door and striking up a conversation. Just keep in mind that some people are more sociable than others, and may need time to adjust.
Tips for living away from home
Living away from home is a big deal, and for some people can be really difficult. It’s easy to feel alone, isolated, sad – but it’s also normal. Top tip #04 is to maintain communication with family and friends back home in any way possible, be it a phone call, messaging, or even mail. I often used to video call, as seeing a familiar face made the connection to home even stronger.
Top tip #05 is that everyone is in the same boat at university, and it’s likely that most are also away from home. This could be used as consolation and aid in the making of new friends, who you can support and be supported by while away from home.