Living away: Ways to adapt to independence
For many people, moving away to university is their first experience of being entirely independent.
You’re in a new place, surrounded by unknown faces and unexplored opportunities, which is exciting yet simultaneously daunting. So, how do you adapt? How do you begin to shift from these feelings of not fitting into becoming one with your new space?
Here are some tips which I would recommend to you, as a student who shall soon be embarking on her final year of study.
1. Taking time to get to know your new area
Think about it. How are you going to feel comfortable in your new place if you don’t actually get to know it? Simple things such as taking the time to learn the routes to grocery stores will assist your feeling of independence ten-fold. If you know where to get groceries you can feed yourself and maybe learn some recipes (see, it adds up!).
If you’re nervous about getting lost and have the ability to explore the area prior to move-in day with friends or family that can be beneficial, but even if you can’t do this and get lost there are mobile sat-navs and taxis on your side. This brings me to my next tip…
2. Save reliable taxi numbers in your phone
See if you can get in touch with anyone who has been to your university previously to scope out which taxi services are the best in terms of price and safety (and, if not, thoroughly check online reviews). Having these numbers saved will assist your independence as you’ll feel less stranded when you’re lost, you can use them as a means of transport if and when needed, and it’s a sensible safety precaution.
Make sure to also frequently check that your phone has battery before going out to ensure that you can make these calls.
3. Challenge your comfort zone
If you refuse to leave your comfort zone after moving away it’ll be difficult to truly gain growth and experience. Moving away to begin with may likely have challenged you, so you know that you can do it. You don’t have to start huge. Perhaps attending an event, joining a society or cracking down on your organisational skills could be a good beginning step.
4. Actively try to find like-minded people
It would be great if like-minded people fell from the sky directly into our lives, but sadly that doesn’t often happen. However, there are many places within universities that make finding these sorts of people easier. For instance, if you're into writing, simply attending an event by a society about writing will ensure that you meet people who enjoy it too. Even if a society turns out to not be for you, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a shot.
5. Remember that you are not alone
You may be away and have the independence to work on but your family, friends and university staff are only a message away. Many of them will have gone through this experience themselves, so of course, they will be rooting for you!
This blog was created by Ciéra. You can check out her website here!
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