Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Moving Out: Tips and Tricks

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

As some of you may know, I am a fully fledged child being forced to live on her own and make her own choices and decisions daily. Aka: I made the decision to move to University. Being as wise as I am about being an adult (i.e. not very) I wanted to share some tips and tricks that I could've done with during the whole adaption process.

The one thing that I found the most helpful was having my family there. Mum, dad and sister drove up with me to help me move in and get things settled. I know for some people this seems like standard procedure because of needing help to get your stuff in, but I think it's also nice for your parents to see where you're going to be, and know that you will actually be ok and you're not living in a cardboard box. Also, I know that my parents, and also the parents of my friends and flatmates ended up paying for the first food shop which is a tremendous help (side note: it pays to stock up on canned and long life foods like pasta, canned tomatoes, beans, soups and rice).

  • Take your family along with you. They will prove invaluable.
  • Ask them nicely if they can buy you a few food bits.
  • Stock up on the cans. Chances are you'll be eating pasta 5 days a week so you'll need that on hand.

While I was still living at home, and getting all of the information, I made sure to write down all of the details about addresses and rent payments and all of that jazz so that I would have it on hand whenever I needed. This really helped me out whenever I had to fill out forms for student finance etc. And while I'm here, make sure you understand what is going on with your rent payments, make sure you not only know how much it is and when it is due, but also how your accommodation need it paid. This will save you from so much stress when the due date comes and suddenly the forms for direct debits don't work and you end up being late on your rent and have to call up the scary finance lady of your uni. I say this from experience.

  • Write down all of the important information regarding your accommodation. 
  • Read over this again and again.
  • Find out how the hell you're supposed to pay your damn rent.

When you move to uni, you'll arrive with all of your new, shiny things and plenty of kitchen equipment that you're excited to use and swear to your parents that you'll keep safe - but by the end of the first semester all you'll have is a fork. And that's if you're lucky. Also, don't be scared of using the kitchen. This is where I went wrong during my first week. It might seem scary, and your flatmates might always be in there and you're not quite sure how to use any of the ovens but don't be scared. I say this because I didn't eat a proper meal for the entire first week that I was at uni. I wasn't even the cliche uni student living off pot noodles I think I literally just ate apples. For a week. Speaking of kitchen living: Tidy up after yourself. No one likes having to use a messy kitchen, but more than that no one likes having to clean up someone else's mess - it doesn't take a lot of effort to wipe down a side when you're done.

  • Be prepared for random utensils to go missing unexpectedly.
  • Eat. Please.
  • Clean up after yourself.

One thing that I was worried about when it came to moving in, is that it wouldn't feel homely. Or more importantly that I wouldn't 'settle'. Now for me, obviously, a lot of making my room feel like home was that I had pictures and my books. I didn't only bring books that I wanted to read but also some of my faves so that I look back at them for comfort. Fairy lights don't hurt too much either. Everyone has their own comforts and things that make them feel safe so just bring some of that with you. I have friends who brought old sketchbooks, some who bought DVDs and others who needed their stereo. It's all about what makes you feel at home. When it comes to settling, the most important thing that I found was exploring the town. Luckily I had someone who could show me around and help me find places that I found comforting: museums, parks and of course the local Waterstones. This might seem like a weird thing to some people but I found it really hard to talk to my family during the first few weeks of moving in. They called me everyday and I found myself resenting it because it was just making me miss them more when I should've been finding my own feet - but as soon as I was settled and found myself feeling more at home it became easier to talk to them everyday. It seems self-explanatory that you'll miss your family at first (and all the time pretty much) but it's very much a personal thing how that effects your settling in process.

  • Pack things that make you feel at home.
  • Find your way around town to practical things but also places that make you feel calm.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your family to pull back for a while if it's not helping you.

These will probably seem like the weirdest tips ever, but they're certainly things that I was not prepared for when I moved to uni and so I think it's only right for me to pass this on to others. You will probably see a lot more of people than you expect to, and all within the first two weeks of moving in. You will walk in on people on the toilet, people will walk in on you on the toilet, people will get drunk and start stripping off in the corridor, and there's just a whole lot more things you never want to see of people. Or from people. Which brings me to the next point - there is a lot of puking. So much puking. You will probably puke. Either from illness or vodka. Flatmates will probably puke. Again; illness or vodka. Someone will always puke from Ring of Fire whether or not they are willing to admit it. If you don't handle puke well, it's probably for the best if you don't go to uni. Or at least don't live in halls. And the final and most important point of all: the fire alarm will go off. A lot. At 5am, 2am, 10pm, 10am, 9am, 7am, 2pm, 3am. It will go off. It'll start becoming second nature to leave shoes by your bed and a coat next to your door for easy access. Honestly, you'll probably hear the fire alarm go off more than your actual alarm.

  • Be prepared for nudity. 
  • And puke.
  • And fire alarms. 


  1. OMG!!! I loved reading this. Is that a bad thing as your mum??

  2. thank you for this post natalie!! i'm heading to uni this september so i'm already trying to look ahead and start bracing myself for what's to come by reading posts like this one. loved reading your honest advice... not only was it useful, but it made me feel a little more at ease about the idea of possibly moving out and living with other people (honestly i think it's the latter that scares me the most).

    1. I was totally scared about living with other people, but just remember that everyone is in the exact same boat as you! Also everything at uni just moves so fast that you hardly even have time to think about anything like that. Me and my flatmates were comfortable around each other and mates by the end of the first night! Good luck, I hope everything goes well for you <3