A warm welcome to all of our new King’s students! And greetings to our returnees; it’s great to see you back for the new academic year. We hope this blog post finds you well and settling into your new lodgings. One of the big adjustments you’re probably making is communal living; it can be nerve-racking to move in with new people! But just remember, it’s OK to be nervous and everyone’s in the same boat. Be sure to introduce yourself to your flatmates and neighbours in halls, try and organise something social early on to break the ice and take advantage of any events organised by your RA’s.
Fortunately for us, Claire, one of our Student Money Mentors and prolific blog writer, is back this academic year with her top tips for making the most of uni, written in her own inimitable style. First on the list is her take on life in halls and she’ll be back again shortly with some advice for cooking on a budget, so check back again soon!
Not everyone will move into Halls at university. My parents called it ‘digs’, which made me laugh as it made me think I would be living in a literal hole. Luckily, although some apartments may be small, none of them are buried in the ground. There are a few things you ought to do when you first move in though, and a few things to be prepared for.
- Someone will steal your food
Whether it is because they are desperate and have run out of everything in their cupboard, or (more likely) when they have come back late from a night out and are peckish, one day you will wake up and your packet of biscuits you keep as a treat will be finished.
Do not panic.
Yes it is annoying and yes you will hate your flatmates for a bit while you mourn your bourbons, but in the end, it is only biscuits. If they are true friends, they will buy you a pack in compensation afterwards, if not, forgive and forget – save your grudges for bigger things
2. Label your Saucepans
It may seem childish to think that this is ‘mine’ and this is ‘yours’ but it is very easy to get mixed up, and if you bought an expensive non stick Tefal pan, then you don’t want someone burning their sausages and eggs on it and not washing it up. Especially if you are a vegan and can’t eat eggs nor sausages.
The same goes if you have allergies. You don’t want someone storing their walnuts in your plastic container when you have a nut allergy – that is nut cool (get it? XP Okay I will stop). When you move in, make sure you let your flatmates know about anything like that so they can be considerate.
3. Be Fair
Loo roll and washing up liquid can start a lot of arguments. Be honest, and if you haven’t chipped in for a while, take the initiative and buy the next set. Make a rota if you have to, but don’t be the person everyone hates because you always take and never give back. You want your parents to be proud of the person they brought up.
- Stay Positive
Don’t make snap judgements. When you got to university, you are going to meet so many new people so keep an open mind. You will click with some people and less with others, but make sure you approach everyone with an open mind. Try going to Football Try-Outs even if you haven’t played for half a decade, or join the Board Games Night because it may be a lot of fun. The welcome period is when you can dip your toe into so many new experiences, so grasp that opportunity
- Invest in an eye mask and ear plug
If you are a light sleeper, it is worth investing in these. The curtains and walls in Halls can often be quite thin. You may think you can survive a few nights on less than 4 hours sleep but they stack up very quickly and coffee can only do so much.
Trust me, you will enjoy uni a lot more with a decent night’s sleep. If that means having a cuddly teddy from childhood, do it!