As we approach the middle of the summer holidays, with exam results looming, the thought of getting prepared to move to university can be daunting for many. So, I will be sharing some tips and advice for you ‘freshers’ who will be making that jump to university and leaving home. It is a significant change in your life and an easy transition from home to university can help you settle in much easier. My little brother (who now towers above me at over 6ft), will be heading to university this autumn. Here are the tips I shared with him, that I think will be useful for anyone leaving home.
Firstly, when preparing for university, there is never too much of anything. I made the mistake, when moving to university during COVID, of bringing two glasses, mugs, and plates. Trust me, you can never have too many glasses! Within the first semester of university, all my glasses disappeared or broke or would suddenly appear in the quad of Belmont (my 1st year accommodation). So, make sure to bring plenty of whatever you need, especially socks. The washing machines will eat your socks. I cannot tell you how many times I came back from doing my laundry and had single socks or random people’s socks.
My second piece of advice, your stuff will go missing, keep important things in your room or locked away. You know your favourite packet of biscuits, the one your parents bulk bought for you. You put them in your shared kitchen, as that’s where food typically goes, but you woke up the next morning and they had gone missing. Then a flat intervention is called because that packet of biscuits is unavailable in Dundee, and you want them back. Trust me, you will end up crying over that packet of missing biscuits. Without a doubt, every single one of my mates had this scenario happening in their first semester of university. No one likes this happening to them, and it happens so often in university halls. So, my most important piece of advice, keep food that you don’t want stolen, either in your room or a kitchen cupboard you can lock (not under your bed though, otherwise you will come home to a delightful new ecosystem as I once did!). I cannot stress how important this is and how much it can improve the atmosphere you live in.
My final piece of advice for part 1 of this series on ‘moving to university’, is make a list of everything you need for university and double, triple, quadruple check it. Check it whilst you pack the car for the drive to university, check when you unpack. Ensuring you have absolutely everything on your list will make your transition much easier and reduce the chance of a breakdown when you move hundreds of miles away and realise you are missing that teddy bear from home that you cannot sleep without.
There’s a common misconception that at university as an adult, you would become a social outcast for possessing a stuffed toy. Trust me, almost everyone had one or two comforting stuffed toy in their room. It is super common and something you shouldn’t leave behind or give up. University can be a stressful environment and having something personal that comforts you can vastly improve your mental health as well as general mood. In my first semester, I feared anyone seeing mine or nicking it, so would always hide it in my wardrobe if someone was in my room. But when I started hanging out in my friend’s rooms and they had theirs displayed on the bed, I realised there was nothing to be ashamed of. Even my 22-year-old boyfriend has stuffed toys on his bed. Just be yourself at university 😊