- Be friendly! On your first few days away from home things are going to be weird. You’ll be truly living by yourself, no more ‘responsible adult’ to help you live! But this in no way means you’re alone; you’re now living with up to 6 people you have most likely never met before! Sound scary? Trust me, it isn’t. Everyone in halls is in the same position, and luckily you and your new flatmates will be going through a lot together. There’s a chance you’ll encounter someone you would never have seen yourself associating with, but as it turns out they are the person you’ll get closest to! So be friendly, don’t rule anyone out when you first move in because these people may well become you’re new best friends over the next two weeks.
- Be nice to your cleaner. Trust me, this one is important. First year flats are renowned for being some of the messiest and dirtiest places in the UK, so when there is some secret fairy godparent that comes in once a week and aids the situation, you need to treat them well! This means no practical jokes on them; no upside-down glasses of water on the table, no collections of toilet roll tubes lying around, and certainly no blanket forts! Instead, try clearing the washing up away, try taking out the bins, and try clearing the hallway of any post-night out debris. Help them, and they’ll help you.
- Keep your food supplies up. Though this is a general tip for any walk of life, food is good. What helped me through many long nights of essay deadline rushing was my stockpile of work food: biscuits, chocolate bars and salted peanuts were my favourites. Keep a healthy (though not so healthy in the long run) supply of these snacks in your room so when the inevitable 3am hunger sets in, you’re fully equipped to handle it.
- Use the services available. Halls has many many facilities right there for you to use, less than 1 minute walk away! Need help with a personal matter? The RA’s are on hand to have a chat with you 24/7! Shower light not working anymore? The maintenance staff will be round as soon as you tell them about the problem! Don’t want to clear up after having a party? The common room is available to hire out for the night (just make sure you leave it in a suitable condition!) There’s loads going on at halls which you might not even know about, just make sure to ask!
- Make it your own. Lastly, the move away from home can be a big deal, and can definitely affect you more than you think it will. Making your room personal to you will help with the homesickness, whilst letting your new flatmates know a little bit more about you. There are boards to pin up calendars and posters and shelves for you to fill with your own stuff, so use it!