Freshers week is over, freshers flu is here and freshers work is beginning. Never has it been more appealing to sneak back home for the weekend, and enjoy some home comforts. No one stealing your ketchup, a bathroom that you don’t have to clean, and unconditional love from people you’ve known for more than week.
But – you need to struggle on through.
According to the National Union of Students website, NUS, “research shows that 50-70% of new UK students suffer from homesickness to some extent within their first two or three weeks. Most students find their symptoms begin to fade after the third week.”
As well as homesickness, there is also the issue of being solely responsible for yourself. You have to learn how to cook, clean, use a washing machine and all whilst living with people you don’t know.
The benefits of this transition is the simple fact, you’re not alone. Everyone else you’re living with is experiencing this emotional roller coaster alongside you.
So what are the main tips for surviving and coping on your own?
This guide to independent living should help you build the confidence to be a self sufficient student.
1. BE SOCIAL!
Making friends and socialising is what makes or breaks your University experience. These are the people who will see you at your drunkest and most depressed, your smiliest and most stressed. You will experience a journey with these fellow students, and will hopefully become your life time friends.
2. GET INVOLVED!
Societies, sports clubs, debates and many more! Joining a University club is a great way to meet new people and also keep you occupied in the evenings and on your days off. Student Unions are all about you! So make the most out of what they have to offer!
3. PENNIES LEAD TO POUNDS
Always, no matter what, make sure you keep hold of your pennies. This loose change can be spent on bus fares, the washing machine, tumble drier, £1 shots, the lot!
If you are living in halls, then your wifi should already be set up for you by your University. But if you are living in private halls or rented accommodation, make sure your internet connection is up and running by the time you move in! Not only will it stop you from going insane, but it will reduce your homesickness and keep you in the loop with all your new best buds!
5. NUS LIFE SAVER!
There are so many ways to save money and budget when you are a student. An NUS card can give you thousands of discounts from everyday products, restaurants, take aways or a cheeky treat! From just £12, it will save you tons of beer money in the long run.
6. 16-25 RAIL CARD
It does what it says on the tin! If you are aged between 16-25, you can apply for a rail card which offers discounts on trains up and down the country. The discount can vary between 10% to 50%, depending on where you’re going, how in advance you book your ticket and what train company you are using. This is a purse necessity.
7. SCRUMPCIOUS SALADS
With all the drinking and late night kebabs becoming a regular feature in your weekly diet, try to throw in a salad every now and then. Or even, just try and eat some fruit and veg to keep your metabolism strong! You’re going to need it! It may not be cool to eat your greens, but it will make you feel so much better and you’ll get so much praise from mum!!
8. DON’T BUY THE BOOKS UNLESS YOU HAVE TO
At the beginning of every term, year, module, you will be given lists of reading as long as the Magna Carter Holy Grail. *WARNING* Before raiding Amazon’s library and breaking your piggy bank, check the Universities Library and make sure they don’t have a copy to borrow, or see if any previous students are selling their books at a cheaper rate. Or check that you even need the books in the first place.
9. DON’T LEAVE WORK UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
Just don’t. It is not worth it.
10. EMBRACE YOUR INDEPENDENCE
Don’t panic. Moving out is a journey. You’re not going to know exactly how to live on your own straight away. Yes you will probably spend all your loan on buying pretty girls drinks, yes you’ll accidently put your pink knickers in the wash with your white shirts, but that’s what life is all about. This is your chance to spread your wings and have fun! Work hard, but embrace this new found freedom and enjoy yourself.
You can do it!