Best advice for living with new people and settling in to university life

We asked our students’ about their favourite thing living in campus accommodation. The top result? How close they were to everything on campus, and the friends they made here. However, living with new people and making friends can also be some of the things people are most nervous about. You’re not alone if this is you, we asked some of our residential students to share their experiences so here are our 6 top tips to help you settle into living on campus.

Student quote: “Just be kind, be friendly and be respectful. These will be the people that you live with for the year and if you’re able to make friends with even just a few of them at the very beginning, it makes the start so much easier as you know that you’ve got someone to talk to and spend time with as you find your feet, branch out and make new friends.” Isobel, Drama and Theatre student.

Talk – as cliché as it sounds, when you are in your room keep the door open as you start getting to know your flatmates and make the effort to say hi or grab a cup of tea for a chat. Plus, having some snacks or a game in the kitchen to share on those first few days with your new flatmates can be a great icebreaker. This advice goes beyond your house and beyond welcome week too – everyone is in the same boat as you. Aleeja, a psychology student says it best ‘be open to making friends and try to make conversation with people you come across as you never know whether they’re a lifelong friend till you try’.

 

Student quote: “Don’t be afraid of not being able to make friends, it is so easy to meet people by joining societies and sports clubs. Also make sure that you can find your work-life balance, otherwise you could fall behind easily. Don’t forget you’re coming here to study hard but enjoy new experiences” Yasemin, Law student

Explore – make the most out of the opportunities on campus – join a society, grab coffee with people on your course, meet your neighbours or try volunteering. Don’t just rely on your flatmates or course mates for finding new friends keep exploring and ‘make an effort to meet people in the first week, and every week after that. The more people you know, the more likely you are to make some friends’ (Morgan, International Business student)

 

Student quote: ‘Have patience. Create a group chat with your flatmates because communication is key!’ Liliya, Law student

Have that cleaning conversation early – You and your flatmates are responsible for cleaning your accommodation. So, once you know each other have a house meeting to sort out some general house rules and utilise the cleaning rota in your kitchen if needed. It may be awkward to start with but everyone will be happier in the long run if they know what’s expected of them. If it helps, make the house meeting a regular event, over time this may just turn into an opportunity to touch base and check in with each other.

 

Student quote: ‘Don't hesitate to talk to your flatmates, and eventually establish some rules you will all be okay with! It will help you a lot and relieve some stress.’ Cassiopee, Digital Arts student.

Be considerate – this one seems obvious, but can easily be forgotten when you’re all having fun. Your flatmate may have an exam in the morning, or maybe you shouldn’t take up all of the kitchen space with unwashed bowls – just remember when you are all sharing the same space a little consideration and compromise goes a long way.

 

Student quote: Houseplants are great for your bedroom as they brighten up the place as well as having a positive effect on your mood’ Daisy, Anthropology student

Decorate – put up pictures, of home and the new memories you make. This room is yours for the year so put up all the things that will make it feel homely for you (within reason – we do have some restricted items as outlined in the Accommodation Handbook)

 

Student quote: ‘Studying is important in life, but so is self-care. If everything gets to be too much just step back for a bit and focus again, because no matter what happens you have to be your own top priority’ Yasemin, Law student

Feeling overwhelmed? Speak up –That’s natural – for most of you it will be your first move away from home and lots of you will be feeling the same way. But don’t forget you can always speak to someone – a house mate, friend, member of staff or there’s always the exceptional Student Support and Wellbeing team on campus who have been through it all before and are there for you.

 

Wondering whether to take the leap and live on campus? We’ll leave the closing words to ELL/Psychology student, Ruby:

“Definitely do it because you get to meet loads of new people and live near them, also you live so near that you can easily go to events and other stuff so do as much as you can whilst it’s easy to get to” Ruby, ELL/Psychology student
“Definitely do it because you get to meet loads of new people and live near them, also you live so near that you can easily go to events and other stuff so do as much as you can whilst it’s easy to get to”

 

Already here? Take some time to settle in as everything is new, but don’t worry we’re here to support you if needed. There’s lots of information on our Arrivals pages or Living on Campus or Living in Pier Quays pages to help you settle in to university life, and otherwise we echo Economics student Gbogo’s advice “enjoy and have fun, it’s easy to find friends and everything you need is on campus.”