You can almost sense this time of year if you live anywhere close to a university: the Freshers are coming. It's like something in the air changes, you can feel the nerves, the excitement and the butterflies a mile off.
In this post I'm going to (hope) to give some hints and tips on how to make your room at university your own. Having a home away from home will make the first few weeks a lot easier.
As you'll be able to see from the below photos, I don't live in halls (or dorms, whatever); I'm a soon-to-be third year student, so last year and this year I chose to live in a house. Yes, my room may be bigger than a room in halls, which often aren't much bigger than a prison cell (and don't look much better), but the basic principles are the same.
This is how my room looks at the moment:
My first tip: Bring the comfiest, prettiest bedding you can find, whatever your taste. I'm actually an idiot when it comes to money, and spent £30 on this duvet cover - not including the pillow cases. However, it is thick and ridiculously comfy and I adore it.
It's a fact - students spend a lot of time in bed, so it makes sense to create a homely space to relax in. I'm lucky in that I get a double bed where I live - my first ever might I add.
Second tip: Don't take every single thing you own with you. This is slightly hypocritical of me to say, because as you can see, my room is pretty jam packed. But particularly for Freshers, you really don't need to take every single piece of clothing, every pair of shoes, every DVD etc, you get my gist.
You don't get allocated a lot of storage in your room, I know my wardrobe was absolutely miniscule, so my advice would be to take your clothes for Autumn and Winter with you, and then when you come home at Christmas, bring them back and take your Summery clothes back with you in January. A seasonal rotation of your wardrobe. Same applies for shoes.
Third tip: In an almost contradiction to my previous point do take things that remind you of home. Photos, a teddy, anything. I'm an English student, so books are my thing. I can guarantee any person who comes into my room says 'woah, got enough books?!', but books are what make me feel at home. I've always been surrounded by them. The fact is, this isn't even half of my collection.
As you can see, I have photos and prints up on my walls. It completely depends on where you live, I know my halls weren't too fussy about the use of blu-tack as long as it didn't stain (pins are a no-no anywhere) but there are some which don't allow blu-tack at all. However, most rooms have a drawing or cork board, where you can pin photos etc.
At the end of the day, it's the little things that make you comfortable; but don't take loads with you, it's a hassle (especially when your halls don't have a lift and you have to climb flights of stairs with numerous suitcases).
Top things to take with you:
- Kitchen stuff - a maximum of 4 bowls/plates etc. Trust me, you probably won't need more than two realistically, but take 4. Things get broken.
- Study equipment (laptop, any books required etc). Obviously you can buy this after you've moved, but all through August most supermarkets have 'back to school' deals on. Take advantage and save money. I would also recommend buying a printer. You can find them for less than £50 and most university libraries have printer charges so you may as well have your own. It saves time on deadline day too. I can guarantee most people are climbing over each other to get to any available printer.
- Duvet, comfy bedding, and if you want, a rug. The carpets in halls are nasty. Keep your feet cosy.
- Personal items - like I said, anything homely. At the end of the day, you want to make your room as homely and comfortable as possible. I decorated my room with fairy lights and pinned photos to my cork board. The little things really do help you to settle in.
If you're a Fresher, don't worry about moving. It's a lot of fun once the nerves evaporate. Enjoy it! The next few years go by fast.
Meg has done a couple of Youtube videos for Freshers here and here, choc-full of brilliant advice (probably bits I've forgotten to include).
I hope this has been helpful, and thanks for reading x
p.s. There are more posts you may possibly find helpful which are tagged as 'university experience' over at the right hand side of the page :)