As my first semester draws to a close, I have been reflecting on the past four and a bit months. It has been a challenge for me, moving 111 miles across the country to start my new independent life as a Uni student. Despite the ups and downs I have faced in the past few months, I have made it to the halfway point of my first year here in Southampton. I love it here but I do miss home and all the friends and family there. If only I could merge the two and I reckon I’d have the perfect life.
So, as many people at this time of year are thinking about Uni… whether that’s preparing for September, completing the UCAS application or even you’re a current Uni student. I have thought about some tips I have used to get through the start of the biggest challenge of my life so far.
Make your room as homely and familiar as possible. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest trying to create the ‘perfect’ Uni room with the most aesthetically pleasing decor as possible. But in the end, I ended up just taking everything I already had at home. My room here is now just fairy lights, the same bedding and some type of photo wherever you look. I feel comfortable and it’s a happy place I can come back to after a long day of lectures and assignments. It has definitely helped me in terms of home sickness to have a place that is so familiar to me.
Don’t leave it to the last minute. There is nothing worse than a last minute rush to get the assignment finished in time for the deadline. So far I have completed five assignments (which apparently is a lot compared to others I’ve spoken to) and a couple have led to high stress levels due to the panic of it not being ready in time. So, always start early! That way you can take your time and get it to the best standard that you can. It also means there is so much less stress at the last minute as other things can come up and get in the way.
Eat proper food. This wasn’t too tricky for me. I mean I’m eating a lot of the same meals… fajitas, tikka masala curry and chicken & veg being among the few regulars. However, I actually cook which I think is a surprise to a lot of people. Always choose home cooked food over takeaways. For one it’s better for you but also we’re students, who can afford to keep buying takeaways. Even if it’s pasta or frozen food, it’s all a better option. It is hard after getting in from a long day of Uni work but with a little motivation you can eat well and save money!
Spend time with others. Whether it’s flat mates, course friends or societies… spending time with other people reduces the homesick vibes. There is nothing worse than always sitting home alone every evening. So socialise! It doesn’t have to be going out and getting drunk all the time. I always feel the best after hanging out with a certain group of people, I feel at home around them and it has seriously helped me to settle in here.
Take every opportunity. University only happens once in your lifetime, so why wouldn’t you make the most of it. It could be anything from work experience to volunteering to simply hanging out with new people. Even if it’s difficult, whatever you do it will be worthwhile in the end.
I hope these tips will help you as you start your first semester. It is an exciting time so live in the moment as it is an experience you’ll be talking about for the rest of your life.
Thanks for reading! Talk soon, Em