What I wish I’d known before arriving
Thinking back to when I was about to start University, I can recall so clearly the mix of nerves, excitement and anticipation I felt. I really did not know what to expect, and I must admit that I was a little terrified at the idea of completely packing up and going to live 5 hours away from where I’d just spent the last 18 years of my life. Little did I know, everything was going to work out just fine, and i was about to embark on some of the best years of my life, meeting friends for life along the way. So, I thought I’d talk you through a few of the things I wish I’d known before I arrived at University.
Firstly, I wish I’d known that everybody was going to be in the exact same boat. In my experience, everybody that I met started University not knowing anybody else, which means everybody is starting afresh and will be looking to make new friends, so there’s nothing to panic about. And, although I was lucky enough to find the most fantastic group of friends within my accommodation, there’s endless other opportunities to meet new people, from the hundreds of societies at Warwick that you can get involved in, to all the people you are starting your course with. So, I wish I’d known that there was no need to stress about meeting new people and making friends; in fact, by the end of the first term I was sobbing because I didn’t want to go home for the Christmas break and leave all of the people I’d been joint at the hip with for the past 10 weeks.
Secondly, I wish I’d known that there is no need to bring EVERY single one of your belongings and that doing so would lead to inevitable chaos and clutter in your bedroom. I wish I’d known to leave the mermaid blanket, large array of ornaments and every pair of shoes I’d ever owned at home, because it simply isn’t necessary to bring that amount of stuff. Additionally, I wish I’d known that there was no need to stress about forgetting anything. Within a few days you really do feel like you’ve known the people you’re living with for a lifetime, and chances are that there will be people willing to share their things and help out anybody who might have forgotten something. There are also many places that are easy to take a quick trip to if you have forgotten any essentials; Wilko, Tesco and Aldi, for instance, are just a 15 minute walk away from central campus and are likely to have anything that you might be needing.
What would have been great to know before I arrived, would also be that making the effort to make your room more homely does go a long way. As someone who did get homesick from time to time, it really helped that my room was covered in pictures of my pets, friends and family from home. Some sentiments from home and some fairy lights and decorations really helped to create a little home for myself, away from home.
As someone who got their 4th choice of accommodation, I also wish I’d known that it really doesn’t matter where you end up, as it’s the people that make your experience, not the accommodation itself. I was gutted when I didn’t get an en suite, but in hindsight I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and within the first few days you really do get over it. And, the toilets are cleaned twice a week, so it’s nothing to be scared of.
I also wish I’d known not to stress about my lack of cooking ability. Lots of people have probably never even turned a hob on, so don’t panic if you’re not the next Gordon Ramsey; you’ll pick things up along the way and often you can end up cooking with other people you’re living with.
Lastly, I wish I’d known how important it is to put yourself out there. I’ve certainly learnt that when it comes to University, you get out what you put in. I wish I’d known that I should 100% throw myself into meeting as many people as possible, and getting involved with as many societies as possible, even if they would normally be out of your comfort zone, because this is how you can make the most out of your University experience.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding my accommodation experience, or anything else.