You’ve signed the tenancy, moved in with your new housemates and transported all your belongings. But now what? There’s no mum there to make you a cup of tea and dad isn’t going to come and put up your shelves. Yes, it can be a shock to the system to live away from home for the first time but it’s also the first step to glorious freedom and it’s a process that all of us have to go through. Here are some survival tips.
Stay where you are
Many students living away from home for the first time give in to the temptation to go back home whenever they can. This won’t help you settle or cut those apron strings, it will just make the process longer. Perhaps set yourself a date a month or so in advance when you can go back for a visit. In the meantime, throw yourself into uni life and experiences during the week and at weekends.
Manage your money
This is the biggie for your new, independent self. Open your bills, read your tenancy agreement, learn how to budget and remember that food is more nourishing than beer and should take up a larger proportion of your spending than alcohol.
It’s pretty terrifying suddenly being out there on your own but the best thing about being a student is that everyone is in the same boat as you. Put aside embarrassment and just throw yourself into activities and courses and you’ll soon find other people to hang out with.
Particularly if you’re not staying in halls of residence, be aware to the need to consider your own safety on a day-to-day basis. When you’re choosing a property to rent pick somewhere close to other students, live with people that you like and trust and make sure that your front door isn’t miles from the night bus stop so you don’t have a long late night walk home. Make sure your student house has locks on the doors and windows, buy insurance so you can replace possessions that are stolen and be careful to lock the place up properly during student holidays.
Where are you going next?
Being a student is sometimes like living in a bubble and it can be so much fun that it feels like the real world doesn’t exist. However, it does and it’s waiting for you, so try to graduate in the best possible position. Study and get the best qualification you can, pay all your bills and rent so you leave with a great credit record and a good landlord reference, manage your money so that the only debt you have to deal with when you start work is essential debt and – most of all – have a great time and make lots of friends! For most of us there won’t ever be another time like this so it’s worth making the most of it.