Moving away from home into University accommodation is a big adjustment—sometimes bigger than students expect. Not only are you suddenly facing independence in a new environment, but that new environment can often feel very different to living in a house. To help with this adjustment, here are some of the ways that you can make you halls feel more like home during your first year at University.
Get to Know Your Flatmates
Make an effort to get to know the new people you are living with. Becoming comfortable around your flatmates is vital if you want to feel at home in halls. You don’t want to spend the year surrounded by awkward silences in the kitchen, so get to know each other and even strike up some friendships. Not only will this help you to feel comfortable when you’re in your communal areas, but living with friends, rather than strangers, will also improve your overall experience. Having people there to support you can make the world of difference in halls; keep your door open, and build some relationships.
Decorate Your Room
Decorating your room is a must if you want to make halls feel more like home. You’re going to be living in that room for a year, and you don’t want to feel like you’re spending that year in a hostel. Get some nice bedding, put up photographs, and any decor pieces you want, and you will notice the immediate difference. Bringing some personal items from home is also a great idea as this can help to add the familiarity of home to your accommodation.
Make Use of Your Communal Areas
Spending time with your flatmates in your communal areas, rather than locking yourself away in your room, is also really important if you want to feel at home during your time in halls. Make a conscious effort to eat in the kitchen together, and if you’re lucky enough to have a common room or living area, make use of these spaces. This can help to make the whole of your accommodation feel much more inviting, helping you to feel at home outside of your room as well.
Learn to Enjoy Your Space
This may seem like an obvious answer, but there are many people who spend their year actively avoiding their accommodation, and spending as much of their free time as possible away from their room. Whilst it’s important to get out and socialise, you also need to learn how to feel comfortable in your own space. If you don’t, then the time that you do have to spend on your own in halls will be difficult to handle. Try to set aside some down-time, whether it’s watching a film, or reading, or even just sitting at your computer, and soon you’ll learn to appreciate the time you can have to yourself in your room. It is also a good idea to put off going home for a little while after you first move in to give yourself some time to get used to your new surroundings. Everyone needs a visit home now and then, but try to make sure you aren’t actively doing so to avoid your new space.
Bring Along Your Home Comforts
Bringing along your favourite home comforts is a great way to add some familiarity into halls. Whether it’s your childhood teddy bear, some home-cooked food in the freezer, or even your favourite tea, bringing along a part of your regular routine can make the move into halls much easier, and a little less daunting.