Written by: Yasmine Luhandjula

Heading off to college or university can be an exciting time for some students, while for others, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. Which is why it is so important to settle into your student accommodation as quickly and as effectively as possible. This will potentially assist to reduce any worry or discomfort that comes with moving away from home and staying in a new environment. Here are some practical tips to help you settling into your new student accommodation:

  1. Pack only what you need: Packing can be a total nightmare, but unpacking can be even more stressful especially in a new environment. Bringing too much “stuff” may cause clutter especially because dorm rooms are naturally small. You may also find yourself accumulating new “stuff” while you are away for school. Essentially, I would suggest that you bring only what you need.
  2. Get there early: This will help you familiarise yourself with your new living environment as well as the university and its surroundings. The earlier you adapt to your new living environment, the more prepared you are to handle every other challenge that comes with being a university student (hectic class schedules, tests, assignment deadlines, extracurricular activities, campus parties, boy drama… etc).
  3. Be sociable: Don’t be afraid to say hello and introduce yourself to your neighbours or flatmates. It is important to know who you will be sharing your living space with. This will help you set your boundaries and it will also help you learn how to respect their boundaries. Knowing your neighbours or flatmates is also crucial for emergency purposes. But generally, being sociable is usually the genesis of all friendships. Therefore,  if you are looking to make new friends, you could potentially start with those that are already in your surroundings.
  4. Make the space feel like home: Bring bedding and other home comforts to remind you of home. This will help you feel more comfortable, and to a certain extent, it may keep you motivated throughout the semester.
  5. Stay in touch with family and friends: This is crucial! This will be especially comforting during times when you feel stressed or homesick.

I hope these tips are helpful, and I wish you all a great start to the new semester!