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Practical tips for moving into uni accommodation

Finally, some freedom. Moving away to university is like a breath of fresh air. You no longer have to eat dinner when you’re told, come home at a certain time, get up when you’re shouted at and keep your room in order. Of course you have to go to lectures, study in your own time, produce top-notch work as a result and possibly even hold down a part-time job. But you are free to choose when and where you do all this.

Most first year students move straight into halls of residence. Sometimes these are exactly that, giant halls of 20,30,40 or more rooms, some with en-suite bathrooms, but often with shared facilities.

However, newer student accommodation often comes in the form of mini-flats. There are six to eight rooms off one central living area with a kitchen, sofa, table and often a TV.

Whatever layout you have, halls are where you are likely to make friends, learn to be responsible for yourself and fundamentally grow up through having to deal with others that can’t.

Here are a few tips to get the best out of your university accommodation situation.

Go forth and prosper

Don’t hide away in your room hoping people will come to you. Spend time in communal areas, introduce yourself and remember people’s names. Get involved with everything, or as much as possible, that’s going on. There is usually entertainment, themed party nights and gatherings organised by the accommodation committee. Join in and get involved.

Learn to cook

They say the best way to a man’s heart is through his belly, but this should be rephrased as, the best way to a student’s friendship is through his or her stomach. Sharing your cooking prowess around your flat or hall will mean you will instantly make friends. It’s a great way of meeting new people and if you make the deal that you’ll cook if everyone else pays, you’ll end up with lots of free dinners. It’s also great to work in teams and take turns, especially if you are living in a flat.

Practicalities

Get a laptop not a desktop computer; it’s just so much easier.

Have a well-stocked medicine cabinet or box. This won’t just come in handy for the hangovers, but running to Boots when you’re sick is definitely not a good idea and mum is not around to do it for you anymore.

Contents insurance is essential whilst at uni. With so many electrical and technological items and probably rather lax security at times, you are more at risk of theft than almost any other population group. Contents insurance from Legal and General includes cover for ‘contents temporarily removed from a parent’s home’ as part of its home insurance ‘extra’ policy. So as a student you won’t need to worry about your possessions whilst at university, so long as your parents have got things covered that is.


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