Moving to university is an exciting yet nerve-racking time for all students, especially if this is your first time moving out and being away from your parents.
While some students will find it very easy to adjust to living in halls, others might feel homesick, lonely or feel like they can't get used to university in general, which can also apply to students living at home.
If this sounds like how you're feeling right now, Sheffield Hallam Students' Union is here to help and we've put together five top tips to help you settle into university life…
1. Get to know your housemates and course mates
Some people will say they met their closest friends at uni and although it can be a little daunting, be the first to start up a conversation with one of your housemates or course mates. If you're living in halls, try leaving your bedroom door open on 'moving in' day and ask anyone if they need help with moving their belongings into their room. To get to know your course mates a little better if you don't live in halls (or maybe you do but just need a way to get to know your fellow peers) try arranging a trip to the pub, the cinema or bowling. You'll probably have to spend a lot of time with these people, so make the effort to get to know them right from the get-go and you'll easily feel a lot more settled.
2. Decorate your uni room
Adding those personal touches to your uni room can make a huge difference and will really make you feel at home. Decorate your walls with some of your favourite posters and photographs of family and friends, put some comfy cushions on your bed and add a rug to the floor or get some artificial plants or even fairy lights to brighten up your room. You don't even have to break the bank either - most home bargain stores or pound shops sell these things and lots of other cool stuff. IKEA is a great place to get your uni essentials and what's even better is that they'll be at our Love Where You Live Fair on Thursday 26 September at The HUBS. We'll also be running a trip to the IKEA Sheffield store on Friday 27 September, where you can buy all of your uni essentials and take part in workshops where you can learn how to customise your room!
3. Attend events during Welcome Week
If you're worried you'll be stuck for something to do when you first get to uni, fear not. We have a huge list of events, fairs and activities that will be taking place during Welcome Week and beyond. This year's Welcome Week is set to be our biggest yet and includes Hallam's official club night, HallamNation, Fifi and Friends drag show and Fire in the Park, a new grime and bass festival brought to you by Apple Music's Charlie Sloth and GRM Daily. We've also got lots of fairs taking place including the Societies and Activities Fair, a Vintage Clothes and Record Fair and the famous Freebie Fair. As part of our Give It A Go programme, we've also got lots of activities and day trips lined up from a trip to York, quiz nights and ice skating, plus opportunities to try-before-you-buy with our Societies and Sports Clubs GIAG sessions including Dodgeball, Yoga and Volunteering.
4. Join a society
Joining a student society is a great way to get involved with something you enjoy and make friends. Sheffield Hallam Students' Union is home to over 100 societies from faith and cultural groups to hobby enthusiasts to academic societies to community projects - there's something for everyone! Welcome Week is the perfect time to pre-register for a society so whether you live at home or at uni, anyone can join. If you'd rather try out a society before joining for the year, our Give It A Go programme is ideal as it allows you to take part in a one-off society, activity or event for free, without a long-term commitment. GIAG sessions run all year round and it doesn't matter if you're a complete beginner or an experienced pro at what you want to do, as most of our GIAG programmes are suitable for anyone. Our annual Societies and Activities Fair will also be returning this year on Monday 23 September at The HUBS, where you can find out more about our societies and when they're next meeting up, plus you can also get your membership on the day!
5. Get into a routine
Getting into a daily routine is a good way to get yourself used to uni life and living away from home. Although it can be quite hard during Welcome Week and the first few weeks after this to get up early on a morning, try and get up at a similar time every day and find something to do. It can also help to make to-do lists, whether it's home or work related, to make sure you're organised from the very start. If the fridge is empty, get your housemates together and create a shopping list before heading out for a shopping trip, or put together a cleaning rota and get your rubber gloves on if your flat is looking a little worse for wear. Try and make sure that you keep on top of the cleaning, washing and food shopping as there's nothing worse than finding you don't have any clean plates or clean t-shirts! It can be easy to get side-tracked from your daily jobs, but knowing what they are will get you into a routine so that you're not leaving important things until the last minute.
We understand that it takes time to settle into university life, but following these five simple tips will easily make you feel more comfortable at uni whilst making friends at the same time. If you need someone to talk to, speak to a friend, family member or your university tutor; you might find that some of your housemates feel the same so talking about how you're feeling with others can sometimes help.
If you're worried or concerned about issues such as uni work, funding or mental health, you can visit the Students' Union's Student Advice Centre at The HUBS. We have a team of dedicated and trained advisers who are on hand to offer professional advice and answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, you can visit the Student Advice Centre page on our website hallamstudentsunion.com/advice where you can find a range of self-help resources.
To find out more about the events, fairs, Societies and Give It A Go sessions that will be held during Welcome Week, visit our Welcome Week page hallamstudentsunion.com/welcome where you can find all the information you need for your first few weeks at Hallam.