A brief intro…
Having only been 18 for 3 months I felt far too young to leave home and live a university life. My biggest fear was fitting in, I genuinely had convinced myself that I would really struggle to mix with the new crowd. It was September 26th 2010 my moving in day. My whole life was packed into our family car and we drove to Chester. I felt physically sick with nerves but also excitement for what the future may hold.
I found my self to be living with 3 other girls, 2 student nurses and a midwife. The first impression that they all made seemed good. I needn’t have worried as the year progressed I found myself among-st an amazing group of people who I greatly hope will be my friends for life. Of course we had our little slip ups on the way..but nothing major that couldn’t be sorted.
Anyway after just over a year as living as a student I wish to share some tips which you that I think to be helpful.
Useful things to take to university
It is wise to use your imagination a bit with this one…what do your family use at home? It is best to think about what to pack going from room to room. It was a bit of a nightmare in our house when it came to kitchen equipment as we accumulated 6 lots of EVERYTHING which took up a ridiculous amount of space. I swear by the end of last year the majoity of the kitchen stuff that I had brought was in bags under my bed! This cannot be helped as often you will not meet your new housemates until the day you move in.
You will feel far more comfortable once your bedroom is sorted. Often the rooms in first year accommodation are very plain with white or cream walls- a blank canvas. Luckily I had taken my wonderful Les Mis posters (which are rare and I am very proud of !) to put on my wall. It is wise to bring posters and photographs possibly ones from home to liven your room up a bit.
Storage space may be an issue when you move in. I remember most of my tins ending up in a crate on the kitchen floor last year as there was not enough cupboard space. I swear our house was designed for 4 people NOT 6. So yeah I reccomend a crate/ box for your kitchen floor! If you struggle for space in your room then storage boxes under your bed are very useful as well as ‘door tidies’ which hang on your bedroom door and have lots of pockets to put smaller items in.
It depends what kind of cook you are but a slow cooker may be helpful if you like dishes such as Spag bol etc. They cost about £30 but can really be worth the money. I found a George Foreman grill to be good. However last year I became too paranoid that I might set off the fire alarms when using it that it did become a bit neglected!
How to survive a night out (We failed a bit !!)
Before I moved to Chester I had very little experience of clubbing! I needn’t have feared I would soon learn! It soon became a tradition to have a ‘Pre Lash’ we would meet as a group in one of the houses in the courtyard where we lived pre- drinking. The drinking games are the best such as “Never have I ever” which includes going around the circle of people and confessing for example “Never have I ever had a one night stand !! ” If someone had then they would have to take a gulp of their drink..I love confession games. It is best not to get completly wasted before you leave the house as I found out for my 19th birthday celebration. I drank my alcohol WAY TOO FAST. My friends had devised a “shot challenge” for me which I happily took on..bad idea…I didn’t even made it out the house that night ended up absolutely off my face, spending most of it throwing up in the toilet- Classy! MORAL ONE : Drink SLOWLY!!!!
Another rule of mine is if you accept a drink from a stranger make sure that you go to the bar with them to make sure that they cannot tamper with your drink. I remember last year it was one of my friends 20th birthday and of course we had a night out. I could see that one of my friends *Kate* was flirting with a youngish guy at the bar who was buying her drinks. We thought nothing of the situation until later I remember seeing her sat on the floor, extremely upset. I just thought that *Kate* was very drunk and had become emotional. She was taken back to the house where her condition had begun to worsen, she was shaking uncontrollably as if fitting , being violently sick and distressed..she is always a very happy drunk. We called an ambulance which took her to hospital rapidly and our conclusions were correct..she had been spiked. I didn’t sleep that night, sitting in the kitchen nervously waiting for news. *Kate* had a lucky escape as in A&E they had managed to get the alcohol out of her system quickly. Although she felt rough the next day the spiking incident had done no further damage to her system. MORAL TWO : If you do except drinks off someone watch their every move (like a hawk!)
Oh my goodness I will never forget the time when we came back from a night out. We were walking through town back to our house and spotted road signs oh and traffic cones. Somehow we decided that it would be a good idea to “Borrow” them- they ended up in our kitchen…Yesss I know its classed as a criminal offence but who hasn’t done this at some part of their student life. I just remember a friend of mine and another friends brother sitting on the floor with a traffic cone singing “I love the cone and the cone loves meeeee”- oh dear and then they nearly fell asleep next to it. Ahh never a dull moment ! If you decide to “Borrow” any road signs make sure you replace them ASAP by the next day and dodge any security cameras to avoid getting arrested!
A few other No-no’s
1) Never pretend to be someone your not…making a good first impression is important..but don’t make a fake one
2) Try not to go out drinking every single night…At first we pushed the boat out, soon after limited ourselves to once a week ! You’ll save money!
3) Don’t skip lectures…whats the point of spending £3,000 a year??!!
Well I think that draws my survival guide to an end…Hope it helps 😀