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Six Things to Consider Before You Move to University

Six Things to Consider Before You Move to University main image

By Johanna Cider

Moving to university for the first time this year? When you move out of home for the first time, there’s a lot to prepare, and even more to mull over. Here’s everything you shouldn’t forget to consider.

Packing

Resist the temptation to pack your entire room. Firstly, you never need as much as you think you do, and secondly, you’ll want to make the actual process of moving as painless as possible. Start with the following broad sections, and think carefully about anything extraneous:

  • Electronics (laptop, phone, chargers, USBs, plug adaptors, )
  • Clothing (don’t forget a raincoat and dressing gown)
  • Stationery
  • Kitchen items
  • Linen
  • Bathroom items (including plenty of towels)
  • Laundry supplies

Decorating your dorm or apartment

University accommodation is a special kind of beast. You may end up in a room or apartment that isn’t always conducive to the best night’s sleep or keeping you warm and/or ventilated. However, you can ward against some of those issues when you decorate.

Bring along a mini heater for your room and a cute sound muffler for under your front door - and prevent the issue of sun glare by investing in some sunscreen blinds. For aesthetic purposes, don’t forget your favorite photos and prints, fake plants, fairy lights, a wall mirror, a pinboard, and lots of blankets and pillows for the ultimate haven vibes.

Keeping safe

University is, for the most part, study, fun, and games – but there can be a darker side to campus life. If you weren’t really exposed to alcohol, drugs, and partying in high school, your first few months at uni might come as a shock to the system.

This is nothing to panic about, but you may want to sort out some safety mechanisms to provide both you and your parents with peace of mind. These might include:

  • Never go out alone, and tell at least two other people where you are going
  • Always bring your own drink to parties
  • Have a backup plan in case a night goes wrong
  • Keep your campus security number on speed dial

Paperwork and policies

This one sounds boring, but it’s important. Make sure you have all of your necessary documents and guidelines in order, from tenancy agreements to your official class timetable. These are useful even when doing something as trivial as decorating your room; it’s a good idea to clarify what things you’re allowed to hang on the wall.

If you’re studying abroad, checking your official paperwork requirements will be especially pertinent, as your college administrators will expect you to have your immigration documents ready when you arrive.

Getting organized for classes

Class registration often begins before you move into your accommodation, and some professors require you to start your reading the summer prior to your first semester. This is also the time to sign up for any major programs, orientations, or clubs that may apply to you – so get those plans in order.

Your new lifestyle

Many students get to university and dive full-throttle into the social whirl of it all. It’s a great opportunity to be surrounded with other people your age and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to meet as many people as possible – but make sure you plan your social activities around your studies. After all, you still want to be leaving here with a good degree.

One useful thing to do before you leave for uni is to check if there’s a social calendar available online anywhere. Circle the extra-curricular activities you’re interested in and check how they fit in with your existing academic timetable and responsibilities. This may seem like a “Mom” thing to do - but evaluating your priorities now will get you nicely on the path to adulthood and graduation.

Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based freelance writer with writing experience across various topics, including travel, business and lifestyle. She has fond memories of college life, and because she has always loved reading and literature, she spent many hours with her nose buried in a book in her favorite spot at the college library. You can find more of her work here.

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