Settling in to uni can be hard, whether you’re 10 miles away or 100 miles away everyone is bound to miss home at some point, for your creature comforts, parents, pets, friends, or general help with life things, like signing up to a different doctors surgery. My favourite teacher have me two tips of wisdom: learn to drink tea or coffee and offer everyone a biscuit on the first day. Fair to say this helped me settle in, when people began getting home sick it sounded a lot better saying shall we have a cuppa rather than shall we have a glass of Ribena and everyone remembered me as ‘the girl who offered everyone a biscuit’ (it was an Ice breaker though). However, you don’t have to do these to settle in as the university offers you lots of chances to make friends or settle in (without being the wierdo who gave everyone a biscuit). Here are some of the ways you can settle in:
Learn some games to play with your flat in Fresher’s
The first night of fresher’s is always the most daunting, your parents have just left you, you’re in a new room and you don’t know any or many of the people at this university. You’ll probably spend the first night of Fresher’s with your flat. The best way to break the ice is to come up with some silly games you can play to get to know everyone’s names.
Make your room as homely as possible
A lot of student hall’s aren’t 5 star accommodation which means it might seem a little worn and very bland. Get some white tac, posters, notice board pins and posters to brighten your room up and give it your own stamp. This will make it more comfortable for you to live in and you won’t miss your own room as much.
Go to your departmental meetings or events.
It’s nerve-wracking of course and you’ll probably be hungover but it’s a great way to see people who will be on your course. No one in my flat was doing the same course as me and I was extremely nervous going into the department on my own, but doing one of the taster workshops was extremely fun and being confident enough to say ‘hi’ to a few people was a relief for us all because we were all in the same boat. You might not stay friends forever but it’s a great way to get chatting and find out what else people are going to.
Join a Society/sports club… or 10
The Freshers fair is a fab place to sign up to societies or sports you enjoy already or to try something new! The likelihood is you will sign up to about 10 or more because you’ll feel guilty saying no if you’ve gone over for the free sweets on their table or someone’s given you an explanation of how awesome their society is compared to the others and how you should totally join. Don’t be put off by all the emails at the start telling you when the event is though, they soon stop. Pick some of the events that sound fun and perhaps take a flat mate with you if you’re a bit nervous! You’ll have a great night and even if you don’t end up doing that sport you’ve made some lovely friends.
Give it time and remember it’s okay to feel homesick
Everything takes time, just like settling in. Give yourself time to become accustomed to a new way of life. If you feel homesick don’t run home the instant you feel like it, ring your family if you need to or facetime your friends, but stick in there.
Do as many events as possible
I regret not going to more of the events the university and Student’s Union organised in my first year, so go to anything- karaoke- why not? Flamenco dance lessons- great chance to see if you really are a great dancer or have two left feet. Aberystwyth has loads of awesome events run by the university, Arts Centre, Student’s Union, sports/societies and community. Try something new- it might just be one of your favourite memories of university.