What living in uni accommodation taught me:
I have just finished my first year in uni accommodation, and as I sit in my mostly empty room, ready to leave tomorrow, I thought I would tell you a few things I have learnt during the year. I was lucky to get one of my top three choices for accommodation, Sherbourne, and have been living in the new blocks in Lakeside campus. I never thought I would fall in love with a home away from home, but I cannot imagine life without it now.
Family comes in many forms
Friends and family shift a lot at university when you move away from home, you’ll have ups and downs losing old friends and gaining new ones. However, there are so many students in your accommodation and the others to find a group you click with that will become your new family. I didn’t realise just how much I had bonded with my flatmates and friends, until I remembered they won’t be there each morning when I wake up anymore. You won’t even notice how quickly you get used to your new family being part of your everyday life. They will help you adjust to a new support system at uni because everyone is in the same boat.
Food truly is the window to the soul
Now when I tell you one of the greatest things I’ve loved about accommodation has been food, I mean it. The amount of memories I have from late night baking, flat dinners, or takeout movie nights will constantly keep me happy. It’s one thing that instantly connects people and will forever be a big part of my memories in Sherbourne. Brownies and chocolate strawberries will always be our flat favourite, the perfect way to end a day.
Your room is more important than you think
Don’t underestimate how important your room is to your experience. Decorate it in a way that makes you love it even more than home, buy things that make it fun and different, and above all make it comfortable. So many friends will end up visiting, especially your flatmates and if you have a nice room it automatically helps you form bonds with people. Get a projector or a screen, maybe a galaxy light or LED’s, anything that makes you happy.
Nobody cares what you do
When you take a random group of people from all different walks of life and locations, you realise that everyone is their own kind of ‘weird’. Things you may consider normal are insane to others and vice versa, no one is the same. Whether in relation to food, clothes, decorations, even down to shopping habits or sleep patterns, I guarantee you no one seems normal. However, that’s what makes living with random people so eye opening, you’ll learn a lot from them.
You’ll miss it more than you think
Time flies in your first year, even if it’s during a pandemic, and the day you leave will hit you like a brick. Leaving your room and new family to move back home seems completely wrong because life seems unthinkable without them so close. Don’t underestimate how intertwined your lives will become just over a few months. You’ll be counting down the days to see them all again when you move into your new houses or flats.
I’ve loved every minute of living in student accommodation this year, both the highs and lows are worth it. It’s something most people only get to do once and there is truly nothing like it. You’ll change so much as a person and learn some pretty tough lessons along the way, but only for the better. Make mistakes, meet people, make memories.