By now, most new students up and down the country have landed in a brand new city and are in the midst of Fresher's Week.
The following few tips are lessons I've learnt from students throughout my career. I'm the MD of Vita Student accommodation; I've seen students flounder or thrive at this point in their new uni lives. Here's what I recommend you do now, to set yourself up for an amazing uni experience:
1 - Home comforts - You might be miles away from the comforts of home, but this doesn't mean you have to treat your new bedroom like you're borrowing it from someone else. Put up photos of your friends and family, buy bedding that you actually like, invest in a lamp and other room accessories. Arriving at uni can feel like a whirlwind; create a calm, homely place you can retreat to when you need it.
2 - Easy cook books - Don't fall into the student trap of take-aways and perpetual pasta. Cooking is easy, honestly. So with your own kitchen and maybe even the use of a private dining room, use this as your opportunity to shine in the kitchen. Pick up some cheap cookbooks and get creative. Better yet, ring home and ask for the recipes for your favourite meals.
3 -Wall of inspiration - Uni can be hard work (regardless of what people say), so make yourself a wall of inspiration. Pics of last summer, plans for the future - anything that makes you smile and keeps you motivated should be on there to keep you positive.
4 - Cleaning products - Boring but true. If your chosen accommodation doesn't provide a weekly clean, make sure you keep on top of your room and are armed with essential cleaning products. Student digs can go south pretty quickly and you don't want anyone to start avoiding your room.
5 - Lotions and potions - Fresher's flu is real, so are hideous hangovers. We suggest you make yourself up a mini medicine box containing essentials for when you're feeling less than your best; paracetamol, Lemsip, maybe even an emergency bottle of Lucozade. Nobody needs a cold and miserable walk to the shop when they're under the weather.
6 - Take time to tour the city - It's always a good idea to take some of this time to get to grips with your new city. Where are all the buildings you need to go to? Is it quicker for you to get the bus or walk? Some accommodation providers, like Vita Student, offer free bikes for you to borrow, and even host bike tours around the city at this time of year. However you do it, get your head around your new location sooner rather than later to help you feel at home quickly.
7 - Join groups - These are a great way to find people who share the same interests as you, as well as your opportunity to have a go at trying something you've never done before (competitive trampolining, perhaps?). Similarly, go to events and socials at your student accommodation. Companies like Vita Student will organise great events literally on your doorstep where you can enjoy a group movie night or celebrate national and international holidays with your friends and neighbours.
8 - Have fun! - If you follow these simple tips, you'll be free to concentrate on what's really important - having fun. You get to live your life how you want to now, make new friends and learn things you couldn't while living at home. It's your time to be independent, now take advantage of it!
For more information about Vita Student, call 020 3096 1717 or visit www.vitastudent.com.