Last week I moved out of my university halls, which was pretty sad as it was the first place I've ever lived without any parents, and had to face the world of independence, which really means a life of no money and wishing you could cook more than pasta. Nevertheless it was probably the best year of my life so far, as it's allowed me to get out of my comfort zone, meet new and interesting people I would never have met and allowed myself to grow.
Before I started in September, I spent the summer excitingly waiting for the day to arrive (although when it did I was so nervous I wanted to turn the car back round and go home). I spent so much time on the internet reading about other peoples experiences, so I would have an idea of what to expect. I asked on my previous posts if anybody would be interested in hearing about my experience, and got a few replies, so hopefully you'll enjoy this!
I just want to say, obviously your experience may not be at all similar to mine, but I thought I would include a few ideas/tips which may be beneficial for you to have a great first year. I generally did the 'typical' university experience, by moving far away from home and knowing nobody! As well as living in halls and being self-catered, which meant food shopping and not knowing how to cook anything that doesn't come in a packet!
Feeling comfortable in your new surroundings
So this is (was) my bedroom! The first photo was when I first moved in, the 2nd one is after about a week, then the big one was after a month when I got everything sorted. I think the best thing you can do is make your room has homely as you possible can. I spent the first month with a bedroom like the two top photos, and I just hated being in there. There were boxes everywhere and I just didn't feel at home. After a while I got my things sorted, put posters up and shoved the old boxes under my bed and it made me actually want to spend time in my new room.
A lot of my friends filled their walls with photos from home, to make their rooms more homely. You could even buy cushions, rugs, and fairy lights, anything to make your room exactly how you want it. Get creative!
Here is my kitchen! I thought I would include a few kitchen shots just so you can have a nosey at the flat. The picture on the right is from Halloween which is why we have a skull banner up, although I wish that stayed up all year, how goth! (The cupboard on the far right was mine if you wanted to know!)
There was eight of us in the flat, which is why the kitchen is pretty massive. If you are put in a flat with lots of people, I would suggest buying plates and cutlery which you would recognise as your own. I brought flowery plates and bowls, and my cutlery had black handles so I could distinguish it was mine. A lot of my flatmates brought plain white stuff so they never knew whos was whos! I would also recommend buying cheap kitchenware in case it gets smashed throughout the year, quite a few of my things either got smashed or lost. Ikea is always a good idea, my plates were about £1.50 each from there! (Any excuse to go to Ikea!)
Now, I don't really remember much about that week but I guess it must have been great ha. For me, freshers was just a whole week of being drunk. It definitely made making friends a lot easier haha. Of course, if you don't drink you will still have a great time, meeting loads of different people from all over the world and getting to know your new surroundings.
Freshers week is a week filled with different social events just to make the 'settling in' part a lot easier. I would suggest making an effort in these events, as this is when everyone starts to meet each other and become friends, you don't wanna be left behind! This was the week I made my three best friends in my flat. There were a few people in the flat who didn't make much of an effort in freshers week, so everyone got really close without them, which is pretty sad. Although don't worry if you don't click with the people you live with, there will be loads of people around you. Your new best buds may be on your course or live in a different building. I lived in a building of 40 people, on a street with four other student buildings! There are people everywhere!
Here are two photos from the most memorable nights of my freshers week, (not including a photo of me passed out by a toilet, which I just don't think is blog worthy). The first picture is of course... Duncan James from Blue! Him and Simon Webb were doing a DJ set in the club next door to us (yes, we lived next door to a club, pretty handy hey). I didn't get to speak to either of them, but the best thing was my friend threw up in front of them, it was hilarious.
The second photo is Alex Zane, from pop world and more recently rude tube. He was doing a DJ set too, and I actually got to speak to him quite a lot. We were talking about The Smiths and he was telling me how his favourite band is Terrorvision. We even had a little jig together, and he called me cheeky! All well and good until security made me leave, booo!
This post has started to get very long! So I'm going to split them up into parts, and the next one will be up in a couple of days. If you do have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to answer them in the next one :)