September 07

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The Transition To University Can Be Tough! (Here’s How To Make It That Little Bit Easier)

The day you leave home for uni can be one that is shot through with all sorts of emotions. Excitement, anxiety, hopefulness, doubt. In fact, no matter who you are and what life experience you gained up until this point, moving away to university can be a challenge. Of course, with a little forethought and planning, you can make this transition a little easier on yourself. A topic you can read all about in my post below.

Stay busy in the run-up to leaving.

One tactic that can really help make the transition easier is to stay as busy as possible in the time leading up to you leaving. Of course, you don’t want to be so frazzled and exhausted by the time you go that you can’t do anything for the first few days. Therefore the key here is to work mindfully as you fill your time.

Happily, once you know you have your place at uni sorted there are always a great many jobs to do. In fact, you will find that holding farewell get-togethers, as well as packing up all your stuff should keep you pretty busy.

The only thing I would warn against here is getting left with nothing to do in the last few days before you go. After all, our anxiety will likely be highest then. Therefore if your mates have different move in and start dates to you, there is no guarantee that you will have anyone to hang out with during this crucial time. With that in mind, you must find something to keep you as busy as possible during this time. Oh, and having any mental health coping strategies to hand can really help here as well.

Get your necessities sorted.

Next, it can really help to make sure you have all the things that will be necessary sorted and organised before you go. Of course, you absolutely don’t need to go overboard here and buy every home item and textbook you come across. Trust me, you will not need that set of 10 saucepans. In fact, you will probably struggle to find a place to store them.

In fact, keeping things to a bare minimum until you are settled into your accommodation and your course is usually the best way to go about it. Unless your family is offering to take you on a shopping trip and pay for everything that is!

It’s not just the practical items that you need to have organised before you leave either, but your paperwork and support systems as well. In fact, when it comes to your support system, you must have someone that you can contact if things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped. Something that can actually make all the difference when you are having a down day.

Additionally, making sure you get registered with a doctor in your new location straight away is always a smart idea. Be sure you know how to access mental health support from your university as well, as this can make all the difference if you are struggling. Just remember there is no shame if you are, because what you are doing is a tough thing, and there is help out there for you, so you don’t have to suffer in silence or alone.

Chose the accommodation you will be comfortable in.

Another way to help your transition to university go as smoothly as possible is to make sure you pick accommodation that you will be the happiest in. Of course, different people will have different needs here, and you must know what type will suit you best.

In fact, you will likely find, many people often want to live on campus for their first year. The reason being that this put them in easy walking distance of the lecture hall, their seminars rooms, and even the SU!

However, for many living in shared accommodation, with shared showers and kitchens can be a challenge! Happily, there are always other options to consider here.

One is to take a private room in a house local to the university. Although this can feel a bit isolating, especially if you’re not living with other students.

Image found at Pexels – Licence CC0

Another is to look for a purpose-built student accommodation studio, a place where you get the best of both worlds because everyone else there will be students. However, you still get a private bathroom, your own kitchen, and even a double bed! Something which can work a lot better for many people who like to be able to pick and choose when they interact with others, but still want to be close to the action.

Don’t burn through all your money in the first week.

You will likely leave home to go to university with a substantial amount of money in both your bank account and your pocket. After all, you will probably have spent the summer working and will have your loan, as well as any gifts that friends and family have given to you.

Of course, the temptation to spend with abandon will be powerful, as you will be on your own for the first time with no parental supervision. You will also have plenty of opportunities for going out on the town. Oh, and you never really know how many of the books and materials they list in the course booklet that you will actually need. (Hint, nearly all of the book will be available from the library!)

Sadly, if you spend all of your money in the first week or two, it can make the rest of that first term a lot harder and less fun. With that in mind, it can be advantageous to set yourself a budget for fresher’s week and keep as close to that as you can.

Then you can be sure you will have enough to survive on for the rest of your first term at uni. Something that can make that help to make that initial transition just a little bit easier, and less stressful.