Advice for Students, Housemates, Living away from home, Settling in, Student Life

Tips to help you to settle in when you first go to University

This blog is to help prospective students with tips on how to settle in when you first go to University.

When you first go to University it can be quite daunting and it is hard to know what to expect. So knowing what you can do to help yourself to settle in, I thought might be helpful. 

When I first started University, the most important thing for me was making sure my room felt homely, this way it made my room feel more like home and helped me to not feel homesick. I took lots of printed photographs and pinned them all up on my pinboard, I enjoyed looking at these throughout my first year. I also took some fairy lights, these helped to make my room feel relaxing in the evening and it helped me to feel less stressed when working. There are many things that may make your university room feel homely, some of these may include: posters, trophies, canvas paintings, speakers and more. 

When arriving at your accommodation there will be lots of new people you have never met before. Some of the first people you will meet will be your flatmates, who you will be living with for the rest of the academic year. I found it really important to make sure I got to know my flatmates and make a bond with them, to help me feel settled throughout the year and to know I have people to socialise with right on my doorstep. Going out with my flatmates really helped me to bond with them, we did several outings like going out for dinner, going to the cinema, bowling and going clubbing. In the current circumstances of COVID-19, it may be outings like going for a walk in Bute Park and taking a picnic or having a walk around Cardiff Bay. You could also do some bonding activities in your flat like film nights and quiz nights. 

Depending on what accommodation you go to, some accommodations may put on events to help the accommodation as a whole to socialise and to give you an opportunity to meet more people. These are events that are great to go to, and I definitely recommend going. Meeting other people in different flats, gives you a chance to be able to go and socialise with other flats and also introduce your flat to them. 

Joining societies is an amazing opportunity to meet more people with similar interests to you. I have joined several societies throughout my time at university and I have met so many different people and stayed friends with them. As well as a society putting on the activity you are interested in, they may also put on socials so this will give you a chance to talk to people in your society and make new friends. 

Picture of Cardiff Bay 

When I first came to Cardiff University, I had never been to Cardiff before so it was really important for me to explore the location, in addition to this I also found it a good way to help me to settle in. I explored the city centre first and found where all the shops were (like the nearest supermarket) and also worked out what the fastest walk was to the city centre from my accommodation. I also enjoyed exploring parts outside of the city centre, like Cardiff Bay, St Fagans and other places in Wales like Swansea and Port Talbot. Once I had explored these places myself, I knew about the great spots to take my friends and family. Looking at the best route to take to university was also really important to me when exploring the location, so I knew I wouldn’t get lost on my first day of University.

I hope you have found this blog useful. If you have any questions about Cardiff or Cardiff University please feel free to message me using the UniBuddy service. 

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