Moving to university is a serious milestone for most students. It is the start of a new chapter in their lives and is likely to be much more independent than previous chapters. This is an extremely exciting moment, but can also be quite scary for many people, the safety net of home is being well and truly removed. In this article, I am hoping to try and highlight some problems to expect, so you can prepare for them before they happen. It doesn’t matter if this is Aberdeen university accommodation, Oxford digs or Sheffield Hallam accommodation, these are problems that affect most if not all students, one on an individual basis and the other more communal.
Finding the right balance between work and play can often go a bit askew, especially in first year. Really try and make the effort to get to all of your lectures in first term, more than anything this is just to get in a good routine. This makes it a good habit which is much harder to break, rather than setting a bad precedent to begin with that can often slip and slide into missing a lot more than you ever thought you would. Try not to panic too much if you feel you are missing a lot of classes, it’s good that you are at least aware what you’re doing. Rather than panic be proactive, find lecturers in their office hours to catch up on what you missed, find various resources online that can also help you catch up, such as lecture slides, or some universities offer recordings of lectures, so that students can catch up in their own time.
Looking at things in a more communal sense, cleaning, or the lack of it can be a real problem for many students when they first move in. It can ignite arguments that can get well and truly out of hand. Setting out a cleaning rota early on can be a great way to avoid these confrontations. This allows everyone to share responsibility equally from the word go, and it makes it very obvious when someone has not done their fair share and can help people not point fingers at the wrong person. Maybe don’t mention the concept of a cleaning rota the second you get through the door, but try and bring it up within the first couple of weeks, if you think it is needed. Or when the mess becomes unbearable it might be a good time to say that you think a cleaning rota is necessary, you need to work out within your own situation what the best approach is.