So, A-levels are in. You’ve confirmed your place and you’re going to uni! Congratulations! You better race down to the nearest IKEA/Wilko and grab as many £4 lamps that your greedy little hands can carry to decorate your room with.
Now, it’s moving day and we all know that going into student halls can be daunting and exciting. Here are some tips on the social aspect of meeting your brand new flat family:
1. Keep your door open and don’t stay in your room!
This is important for first impressions; if you’re by yourself in your room stapling bunting to your walls while everyone else is meeting each other you may be missing out on some pretty basic interaction. I had a bit of a problem with this myself, but you just have to bite the bullet. Some of my first year flatmates are my best friends now!
So, putting your posters up can wait! Go and have a cup of tea and talk to the people who trickle into the kitchen, or knock on their door and introduce yourself.
2. Don’t make fun of their accent (unless they’re okay with it!).
Student halls are usually an awesome mix of everyone up and down the UK and even some people from all over the world. This begs the age-old question: do you mock the girl from Liverpool every time she talks?
Test the waters with them! Some people will enjoy the playful insults and will throw them right back, but others might take it personally- try telling the two groups apart and act accordingly. As a general rule, if somebody has a thick accent, don’t point it out too harshly or say you can’t understand them.
Hopefully, all will be well and you’ll be doing Gavin and Stacey quotes with the Welsh and the English from the North will fight with the Southerners over the pronunciation of ‘bath’ by the end of the first week.
3. Try and maintain the kitchen harmony.
You and your flatmates may be the kind of people who don’t need this tip, but I’ve heard some horror stories about people smashing plates over missing apricots (really). If somebody doesn’t feel comfortable sharing their things, respect it. They may change over time when they get to know you better, but it’s good to stick to your own Tesco Value teaspoons for now!
4. Do something the first night!
Our flat did this- we lived in the city centre rather than on a main campus so getting to lock-ins and the like was a bit of a pain. So what do you do? Create some memories! We had an infamous night dubbed ‘Tequila Night’, but it doesn’t have to involve alcohol or Freshers events if you’re so inclined:
Go for a meal and get to know everyone.
Do something embarrassing like running through your city’s fountains or public karaoke so you have something to cringe over later.
Go for a walk and explore your brand new city/university town! YOU’RE ADULTS, YOU HAVE NO BEDTIME!
DO SOMETHING! It’s awesome for creating that initial bond with the people you’ll be spending the next year with and you can start your friendship off with a bang!