The Iglu Guide | Blog

5 ways to settle into your new home

No matter where you’re coming from or where you choose to live, starting out at university means adjusting to a whole new environment that can take some getting used to. Moving out of home is a big deal, everything that you’ve known and taken for granted up until this point is about to change.

Here’s 5 ways to quickly find your feet in your new student home and make the best of the transition ahead.

1. Get fully unpacked

As soon as you arrive, focus on unpacking everything you have brought with you. The more you can see your own belongings around the place, the more it will feel like your home. Bring along those firm favourites such as your special coffee mug or a cosy blanket, and enjoy the warm familiarity and memories that belong to them. Get all your kitchen items out of the boxes and make sure you’re fully ready to start providing meals for yourself. Remember, at Iglu things like kettles and toasters are already provided so you won’t need to worry about bringing them along. Break up the empty walls by hanging up something familiar such as a family photo or a particular item of emotional value. It helps personalise your new home and keeps you connected to your past, as you make your way into an exciting future.

2. Zone your space

It turns out your parents were actually on to something when they kept nagging you to tidy up! Not only does keeping things in place improve your physical and mental health, it helps improve your focus – which means you’ll naturally perform better at your studies. Although there won’t be anybody around telling you to do it, try to set up a dedicated study area with limited noise and distractions. This is a place where you can leave your books out undisturbed – and return back to them when you need to. Similarly, you need a separate space where you can chill out, watch TV and interact with others. Associating a particular activity with each space, with your own items in place, will definitely help you settle more quickly.

3. Get to know your local area

Places only start to feel like home when you really get a sense of what’s around you. Step outside and have a wander around the local neighbourhood, it’s a great way to get a feel for the area and what’s potentially on offer. Challenge yourself to try out some new activities with other students – it might be a local trivia night, a trip to the shops or a walking tour to explore the suburb. The first few days of uni are when those new relationships are most easily formed, because everyone is in the same situation. Exploring a new area is a great opportunity to mix in with your room mates and peers, find some common ground and face the challenges head on. On a practical note, make sure you locate the nearest supermarket, doctors and chemist as soon as you arrive.

4. Make your own rules

Sounding pretty good already, right? The best part about student living is the freedom and independence that comes along with it – but that can be quite difficult to manage at first. Getting yourself into a good routine and setting your own boundaries is all part of settling in. Work out what you want to do – and when you can actually do it. Set up a schedule that accommodates uni time, study time and play time – and take each one as seriously as the other. It’s really important to take regular breaks away from your books as this actually improves your focus for the next session. And if you are in a new city you are definitely going to want time to explore and find your way around. Equally if you are taking too much time away from your studying, the balance isn’t quite right either. Setting your own boundaries is an important part of settling in. Make the right rules that work for you – and stick to them!

5. Embrace new friendships

Meeting new people gets a little bit harder the older you become but getting the best out of your student experience is always way more fun with mates along for the ride. Making memories is the fastest way to new friendships – and the quickest route to settling in. Accept every invitation that comes your way – go along to O Week, go to the faculty events and try your hardest to embrace new relationships and introductions. Everyone is new so you already have that in common. The benefits of independence and freedom swing both ways – and the onus is now firmly on you to move things to the next level. Keep an eye out for local events and remember, it’s totally normal to feel a little anxious and worried at this time. You’re definitely not alone. If you ever feel like you want to talk to someone, Iglu’s Resident Leaders are always on hand and can point you in the right direction for the support you need.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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