For many students, moving to university is their first experience of living away from home. From exploring the social scene to immersing yourself in academic life, there are endless opportunities to make the most of your time at university. But so many new experiences can naturally be a little nerve-wracking!
With over 20 years’ experience in student lettings, we at Roseworth Student Lettings know a thing or two about student life, which is why we have put together a helpful guide to living away from home first the first time. Read on to find out more.
Preparing for University
Moving away for university is a major life event, so it’s no surprise that you will want to be prepared! Before the new term starts, it’s worth researching the university campus, making a note of useful buildings, such as the library, Student Union and lecture theatre. This will help you quickly get to grips with the area.
When packing for university, choose a few of your favourite photos and decorations from home. These will help you to quickly feel at home in your new student accommodation.
“As soon as I moved into my student room, I put a lot of pictures up from home,” says Molly, a first-year Business Management student. “It really helped the place feel like mine.”
Check out our university checklist for more advice on what to pack for the big move.
Freshers’ Week provides a great opportunity to get to know the university’s social scene. Many universities and Student Unions run orientation programmes during Freshers’ Week, to help you get to know the campus. This is especially useful for international students when getting used to a new country and culture.
Attending the Freshers Fair is a great way to see what activities are on offer at university. Ever wanted to try a new sport or hobby? Speak to some of the societies or clubs that interest you most to find out how to get involved. However, remember that student life can get pretty hectic, so watch out for any clashes with your studies or other hobbies!
Making New Friends
Some of your most important and long-lasting friendships can be formed at university, and you’ll soon find yourself rubbing shoulders with people from all different walks of life.
Although meeting new people can feel challenging, a few tips and tricks can help you make friends in no time. For example, keep your door open when unpacking and settling in to your new student accommodation - this will encourage people walking past to say hello and start a conversation.
Take advantage of events run by the Student Union, as these are designed to help you get to know other students in a welcoming environment.
“Going to social events organised by the Student Union means you’re around everyone in the same situation,” says Nakeela, a fresher. “That means it’s easier to talk to people, as you all have something in common!”
Once you’ve established a rapport with one or two people, group together to explore the campus and local area. If you meet someone on your course, arrange to go to the first few lectures together. This will help you quickly get into the swing of academic life and bond with your classmates.
Dealing with Homesickness
It’s normal to feel homesick from time and time, but it’s important to remember that most students have experienced homesickness at least once during their time at university, especially in the first few months.
Keeping in touch with friends and family from home is a great way to stay connected, but it's important not to get too focused on what’s happening at home. As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid visiting home for at least the first half of the new term. This will help you settle in and focus on your new routine.
Talk to your classmates and neighbours too; chances are that they are experiencing homesickness too, and talking about it together will help you know that others are in the same boat.
Remember, homesickness does pass. The most important thing is to not isolate yourself and to get into a regular routine. Once you’re busy with lectures, seminars and social events, university will start to feel like a home away from home. If you’re still struggling, get in touch with your university’s student support services to find out how they can help.
Budgeting & Accommodation
Being in charge of your finances can give you new-found confidence and independence, but it's important to make sure that you are managing your student budget effectively.
Make sure you’re keeping an eye on your outgoings by regularly checking your bank statements. Set yourself a budget to cover all the essentials, such as course supplies, food and rent, setting aside an amount for socialising and going out.
“I set myself a weekly budget, including everything I need for food and rent. That means I can easily see how much money I then have left for the week. It’s a really good way to keep on top of finances,” advises Mary, a third-year student. “My flatmates and I have a joint bank account that we pay money into for all house bills, which makes it easy and straightforward for everyone in our student house.”
Budgeting is especially important when it comes to finding student accommodation. When looking for a student property, consider how much you can afford in rent. Our simple and straightforward property search tool allows you to search for student lettings by price, area and property type, helping you to find the right student housing for you.
For more information on managing your student money and searching for student accommodation in Newcastle, check out our student letting advice and blog, containing the latest advice from our team of experts.
Got questions about student life in Newcastle and what to expect when moving to university? Chat to a member of our friendly team by contacting us today.