Moving away sucks at first, there’s no beating around the bush about it. You’ve spent (well in my case) 19 years building yourself a life where you live. Friends two minutes away, a job and a family. And then suddenly it all changes.
You have to make new friends, new memories, adapt to a new area and have to cope without being near the family and friends you know and love. On top of this you truly realise the amount your parents did for you. Now you have to cook, clean and wash your clothes….yeah, right. But the best part is that you get to make your own way in the adult world. No Mum and Dad. This is it.
The first time you move away from home is a memory that will stay with you forever. The time you had to be a responsible ‘adult’ when someone broke a table (…Liam) or the heating breaks. At the time it might not be funny, but it will tell a good story down the line.
I’ve definitely got so many stories. The first week of first *and second* year I pretty much rang my Mum every day. ‘How do I use my new washing machine?’ ‘How do I get beer off the ceiling’ ‘How do I cook this…’. The list is endless but it leads to so many memories. The best thing is that you all are in the same boat. Nobody else knows how to get beer off the ceiling better than you do but I’ll always remember having a flat clean, music on and us trying to use every cleaning product to get the beer off the ceiling. Filming uni students for a year and hearing our ridiculous questions would make a good TV programme, I’m sure of it.
You will come across food combinations you would never have thought of, questionable cooking skills, washing up piling until there is no surface space left and even more things that are only acceptable ‘because I am a student’. (Just don’t tell your parents..)
But even with all the positives, it’s not always easy leaving everyone at home behind. The transition can be hard and it doesn’t mean to say that anybody at home means any less at all. It just makes us appreciate home even more when after 6 weeks you get to go back to Mum & Dad’s cooking and washing service for a week. I’m only joking about the last bit (..!), but there is nothing nicer than being reunited with friends and family after time away.
So, as it is getting to the home sickness time of the semester, I thought I would finish the post with my top tips to make things easier when living away from home for the first time.
- Have plenty of photos. I’ve always been a lover for photos so my uni room will always have a collage somewhere! This year I also have photo frames next to my bed and other photos around the room. It just adds that part of home to your room.
2. Try to keep in contact with home when you can. It might be hard sometimes when there is so much going on at Uni but even if it’s one text or one phone call, don’t forget your loved ones at home.
3. Talk to your friends or flatmates. It’s very likely somebody else is going to feel homesick and you will be in the same boat! Plus, once you’ve talked it over you will probably realise that it doesn’t seem too bad anymore.
4. Make sure you mix with different people! Uni means that you have the opportunity to meet such a wide range of people and make new friends.
5.Enjoy it. It’s part of growing up. Moving out isn’t going to be easy but you will always remember the time you had to be an ‘adult’. You will make the best memories and have some brilliant stories to tell the family. It just may take some of us longer to settle and that’s ok!
I was lucky enough to have the best first year filled with stories about my ‘year of independence’. So for anyone moving out for the first time, my biggest tip is to just enjoy it! But try not to burn the place down…that wouldn’t be a good start.
(P.S – Sorry for the late posting – two huge deadlines have taken up all of my time! Plus, please excuse if the photos aren’t as good – I am without my trusty iPhone camera this week!)