Settling into life at a university can be very tough, especially if you’re not part of the lucky minority that don’t have to travel that far from home to study in the university of their choice. In fact, for most of us entering university means leaving everything you know behind to partake on studies that will shape the rest of your careers; to say you’d be nervous at the start is an understatement. Luckily for you though, others like yours truly have already been in these situations and know just what you’re going through. Life at university can be intimidating at the start, but it can get very easy very quickly. Here are a few tips to help you settle into a new university (and maybe alleviate some of that crushing homesickness you’re feeling):
Being in a new environment surrounded by strangers isn’t an ideal situation to be in. The solution? Make as many of the strangers into acquaintances and as many of your acquaintances into your friends. And how do you make as many friends as you can? It’s simple really, you just have to show others that you want to be their friends. Your body language is responsible for almost 80% of your communication, so it’s important you stay relaxed and approachable to others around you. Everyone else is probably just as nervous as you and a smile from you will give them the confidence to smile back at you. In short, be friendly and you’ll automatically make a lot of friends.
Explore the campus and the city
Getting to know the city and the campus you’re staying at can do wonders to help you settle in at a new university. For one, exploring the location would help you note down all the best places to eat (you’ll need them if you’re going to survive the monotony of hostel meals) and all the right shops to get the basic necessities of life. For the other, you won’t be cooped up in your room all the time, which is by far one of the best ways to get fed up with university life.
Don’t skip out on introductory sessions for freshers
Orientations and freshmen gatherings may seem like a pain, but skipping out on them is not recommended. These events and talks are designed specially to accommodate freshmen and help them adjust to university life and skipping out on them just because they’re not “mandatory” is a pretty dumb idea when you’re struggling to settle in. Above all, these sessions are an opportunity to connect and talk to seniors in your university, people who’ve jumped through all the hoops lined up in front of you and who’s experience you could learn loads from. These are the sessions where you’ll find people lining up to help you, and not taking advantage of this situation is only going to come back to bite you. Not to mention very rude.
Organization and Time management are key
Want to stay ahead of your studies and not fall into the pit of always studying at the last moment (like you probably always have)? The answer is still the same as it was back in school: organization and time management. Make a plan as soon as you get your class schedule and manage your studies and leisure time according to how much time you think you need (more time for studies is always good, but even we know always studying is unreasonable). Having a plan set from day one is really going to help you settle in quicker than most other students around you.
Get comfortable in your own room
Your room should be your haven, the one place you retire to recharge after a long day at the university. For that reason, you need to make sure your room is as comfortable as possible. I’ve known a lot of kids who don’t unpack their clothes for the first couple of weeks (or ever for that matter) and the organization of their rooms are far from ideal. As such, their rooms no longer become a place of comfort but rather just a place to sleep and store their belongings. Making your room comfortable is only going to help you be more relaxed in the new hostel environment and taking the time to organize your room and cupboard will pay off in the long run. You need to move in completely to your hostel; only then will you start feeling like you’re right we’re you belong.