It is officially September and for a large proportion of the population, that means it is time to move away from home and head to university. For those of you who had to wait until mid August to find out if you had got in, you haven’t really had that much time to prepare. I don’t think I will ever forget that last month at home before I headed down to Cornwall. It was extremely busy, I working 40+ hours a week to save and along with physically, I was mentally preparing to move out for the first time. Moving to university whilst it is exciting, it is also really daunting. For those of us who are family oriented and didn’t take a gap year, the move can be quite distressing. As much as I had the best three years of my life at university, I will never forget the day my parents left me in Cornwall and how heartbreaking that was. However, a couple of glasses of wine down and I officially began the craziest, exciting and life changing three years. Today I thought I would compile a list of things that I think are important take to university, especially to survive that first semester.
An open mind
This is probably the most important thing you can take with you and it is not something you can hold. When you go to university, you are 18 and older and by then you have a pretty good idea of type of people you do and don’t mix well with. Well guess what, if you are living in halls, you have to throw all of that out of the window. At university, you are put with so many different types of people and I’m not necessarily talking about race and ethnicity (although that too) but general personality traits. University is the perfect opportunity to put your past behind you and go in with a fresh mind set. If you don’t, you will get very lonely very quickly. If you try and handpick your friends based on your friends from home, believe me you will get lost in the crowd. I saw it happen to a lot of girls who were clearly “popular” at school and thought they could carry that through to university and it just doesn’t work. Sorry hun. For my first year, I lived with 7 very different people with very different personalities, however we were all so close. Everyone said that we so lucky but I genuinely think we all went in with open minds, accepted who each other were and brought the best out of each other. To this day I am still very good friends with almost all of them.
I’m pretty sure everyone tells you to take this item but they really are right. When you go to university it can be very easy to lock yourself in your bedroom. Without even realising, by doing so you lock yourself away from the rest of your flat. From the moment I moved into university, I had my bedroom door wide open apart from when I was calling home, getting dressed or sleeping. By doing so it made general conversing with my flat mates a lot easier as it meant I didn’t miss out on any corridor conversations, which believe me happen. I felt very comfortable with my flat so I had my door open all year round. However, I do think it is extremely important in that first week as it makes you approachable and generally makes you seem like an easier person to get along with. In my personally opinion, if you shut your door and don’t go to the communal area regularly, not only do you distance yourself but you also prevent those friendship bonds from happening.
A memoir from home
As I’ve already said, moving to university can be extremely challenging; fun but challenging. Even well into my third year, I still suffered with homesickness. You’ll typically find that in your first year, you go home as regularly as you can. However, as the years go on (for me anyway), these visits become less and less. Therefore, having something from home that is going to make you feel slightly better is not something to be embarrassed about. No matter what it is, if it reminds you of home, you’ll be grateful you bought it with you with that homesickness really kicks in. So I guess you’re wondering what I took? As soon as we found out I was attending university, my mum suction packed a teddy bear after spraying it with her perfume. This way whenever I got homesick, not only did I have something I could cuddle up to but I could also smell something that immediately reminded me of home. Cute right?
Fancy dress costumes
Throughout university there are going to be countless evenings that involve some form of fancy dress. 90% of such evenings are during freshers and your first year. Most people are aware of the parties that are happening during freshers so taking outfits for each is a lot easier. However, those 80’s and 90’s parties can get sprung on you pretty quickly so it’s good to have something in your wardrobe! All be it it’s fun creating outfits with your friends but when these parties are every other week, to save some cash, I would strong recommend not throwing out those costumes but rather squeezing them into your university essentials.