Ask the majority of students set to be heading out to university for the very first time and chances are most will tell you that the biggest change of all will be that of living alone. More often than not, university tends to be the first time that a teenager or young adult moves away from the family home and effectively sets up solo. Unsurprisingly, this is just about the most exciting prospect in the world for some and an absolutely terrifying reality to face for others.
Interestingly however, speak to the experts and many will tell you that it is not in fact living alone that represents the biggest change and the biggest challenge – in fact it is quite to the contrary. For hundreds of thousands of students every year, what comes as the biggest shock to the system of all is that of moving into shared accommodation where pretty much every inch of the building they live in is shared between multiple occupants they will at the time had never met before.
Now, this is undoubtedly an enormous change in terms of lifestyle and expectations and is one that cannot and should not be overlooked. According to the experts at www.findspace.co.uk however, shared living has the potential to be absolutely outstanding in both a social and an academic sense as the role of those around you for your time at university will always be enormous.
Here is a quick look at a few tips on how to get used to this significant change in your life:
1 – Bring Friends
During the early stages in particular, you might find it’s comforting and beneficial to invite your existing friends along to visit you at your new digs. Now, some argue that this is counterproductive as it has the potential to motivate you to stick with a friend you know and avoid making contact with new people. In reality however, your confidence as part of a group member will always be stronger than your confidence when you are flying solo.
2 – Don’t Lock Yourself Away
It might be tempting to do so, especially if you’re feeling homesick, but it’s of the utmost importance to ensure that you do not lock yourself away from those around you during the first weeks and months at university. The reason being that these are the times when the most meaningful connections tend to be made as regardless of how nervous you might be, it’s easy to forget that everybody is in the same boat. This is the kind of once in a lifetime experience that is genuinely life changing and can be quite uniquely bonding. So rather than going through it alone, get yourself out and about with others.
3 – Practice Tolerance
If you have come from a family home that is perpetually spotless, silent and generally quite tranquil, chances are your tolerance and patience will be tested quite severely. Nevertheless, there’s a time and a place to stand your ground and ruffle feathers and it generally is not during the initial days of moving into your shared accommodation. The simple fact of the matter is that so many people get away from home for the first time and genuinely have no idea what to do with themselves or how to behave. As such, they act up and show off in the immediate moment, but soon return to their normal selves.
4 – Do Your Part
One of the best ways of making good connections with those around you and maintaining these connections is to make sure you do your part around the accommodation. This doesn’t mean in any way becoming some kind of housekeeper or slave, but make sure that whatever your responsibilities are around the place, you do them to the best of your abilities for the sake of everyone.
5 – Forget First Impressions
Last but not least, the point has already been touched upon in one context, but something to try and bear in mind when moving into shared accommodation for the first time is that first impressions mean nothing. Neither you nor anybody else that will be your normal selves when thrust into such a unique and intimidating environment, which in turn means that you and everybody else may very well convey a less-than an admirable first impression. So regardless of how much they may appear to annoy you or rub you up the wrong way the first time you meet, try to ignore and forget this first impression.