Living in halls is a rite of passage for many students, so we’ve compiled some tips to help you make the most of your time there!
1. Remember that everyone else is in the same position as you
Moving to university is as intimidating as it is exciting. You might feel some ambivalence about leaving home and settling into an unfamiliar building. But keep in mind that you’re not the only one feeling this way—most of the people you’ll be living with will be in the same position. Don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out beforehand. Go into the experience with an open mind, and remember that there will be lots of people you can talk to when you get there.
2. Take part in events
Your halls will likely have lots of events in Welcome Week and beyond to meet new people and get involved. While your schedule might already be full with a range of events, don’t skip these. Meeting other people in your building will help you feel more settled—and there’s a good chance that some of them will become great friends, as well.
3. Establish communication with your flatmates
Most flats have a group chat to convey important information, but also to organise gatherings and get to know each other. If you know who your flatmates are before moving, don’t be afraid to chat to them beforehand. If not, chat with them when you arrive! Not only is this a great way to make friends and find people to go to events with, but it also makes it easier to resolve any issues that might come up in your flat. (Hint - a cleaning rota is probably a good idea!)
4. Decorate your room
Bringing photos and mementos from home can help you feel much more comfortable in a new space, but moving into halls is also a great chance to decorate your room the way you want. Lots of people will be taking trips to stores like IKEA and Wilko for some essentials. Be creative and make your space somewhere you’re happy to come home to (but make sure you check the rules about hanging things on walls beforehand)!
5. Figure out some basic meals
So you’re all settled in, you’ve decorated your room, met your flatmates, and now you’re facing an empty fridge. You might have never cooked for yourself before, but not to worry, there are lots of recipes out there designed with students in mind. Pasta is a classic, but make sure you’re eating a relatively balanced diet with protein and veggies as well—trust us, Welcome Week is tiring so you’ll want to be eating well. Check out our article here on some essential recipes to keep you going.
6. Be open to meeting new people
You’ll have opportunities to meet new people in halls long after Welcome Week is over. It might feel like everyone already has established friend groups, but most people (especially in first year) are keen to make new friends throughout the year and find others to hang out with. Don’t feel like you have to stick with your flatmates the whole year, and don’t be concerned if the people you’ve met in your first few weeks aren’t the right friends for you. By staying open to meeting others in halls, you’ll meet way more people and are likely to make some lifelong friends, too.
Another great way to make friends is to participate in a student group. If you want to know which student group is right for you, click here!