Whether you’re starting university for the first time, or coming back to start your third year (or beyond!) the first term is an important one. It sets the tone for the year ahead and your actions in those first weeks will echo for a long time, so it’s worth thinking about how you can make the most of this important time.
Whether you’re settling into halls of residence in Oxford, private housing in Liverpool, or Huddersfield student accommodation the process of settling into your new digs is similar. Firstly, try and make your room feel a bit more personal and like your home – even though it’s a rented room that’ll likely move on from in the summer it needs to feel like it’s yours.
Try putting up a few posters – there are often poster sales in the early days of term – arranging keepsakes or ornaments or putting some plants in the windowsill. Just make sure whatever you do makes you feel more at home, and doesn’t cause any permanent damage that might affect you when you expect to reclaim your deposit!
Another key part of settling in is exploring. Find out what’s nearby, from shops to takeaways, pubs and bus stops. Get in touch with your friends as well, and see who’s nearby – this could dictate where you’ll be spending a lot time!
It can really help you to get into good habits from day one with the new academic year. Setting a timetable for your studies and essay writing means working a reasonable amount each day, rather than waiting until the last minute and pushing yourself to work all night. If you can start from day one like this, you’ll find yourself working a little more than less organised peers at the beginning of term, but not burning out on all nighters at the end. It’s much less stressful!
Identify Key Dates
There’s a lot of dates and deadlines in the first term of the year, from essays and exams to parties and Christmas celebrations. Double booking yourself could mean disappointing friends, cancelling a party, or arriving at an exam with a crushing hangover, which is not the recommended recipe for success.
Hanging a paper calendar on the wall gives this necessary organisation a sort of retro charm, and may make it easier for you to remember the key dates!
This means you get to do everything you want to and don’t have to miss out either on student fun or important exam results.