Congratulations on getting your place at Sheffield! The next few years will definitely be full of ups and downs! In particular, the first few weeks of your degree can be a pretty daunting and emotional time, so here are some tips to help you get settled in!
Social media is a really great way to connect with your peers and find useful blogs and information about the university. Lots of groups start popping up around the time of A Level results, and it is worth being aware that they are not all the same. The ‘Official’ freshers/firmers groups run by the university are definitely worth joining to meet your course mates and keep up to date with information. It is worth bearing in mind that there are a number of unofficial groups, usually set up by local clubs who will try and convince you to splash out on tickets (and often week long wristbands) with mentions that they are ‘the biggest student night’ and that they will sell out. Do not rush into buying tickets, you will not be left with nowhere to go and your best bet is to wait until you can find a few flatmates and agree on going somewhere together as you will likely want to get to know them! You don’t want to turn up in freshers and have to worry about selling tickets because you all turned up having bought separate tickets! As mentioned, the Facebook groups are a really great place to get you in touch with your housemates so you can start getting to know each other and making plans! There are also always loads of people asking if anyone is on their course which can be the start of great friendships (this is how I met one of my best friends at uni!) but don’t worry if you can’t find anyone!
It can be really hard to work out what to pack for university, but there are a few things which may help you with settling in. Don’t go overboard (you are likely to be tight on space!) but definitely bring a few things to make your room feel homely: posters, cushions, photos from home are all great to make your room feel a little more like your own. If you decide to bring posters it is worth remembering that you aren’t meant to use blue tack in halls in case it marks/damages the paintwork, but you could still stick them to your wardrobe and pin them to your noticeboard! It is also worth buying yourself a doorstop, as the doors are heavy fire doors which don’t stay open. This is handy for moving boxes into your room during moving in day, but may also help you get to know your friends. Prop your door open and put some music on while you unpack or after your parents have left and your future housemates are likely to come and chat to you… Knocking on the door of a stranger can be pretty daunting but coming to chat to someone with their door open is less so! Finally on the packing front – food and drink! If you drink alcohol, you may wish to bring some with youl as it saves you having to go out and buy some the night you move in. The same can be said for dinner for that night, if possible get your parents to do a shop with you once you arrive in Sheffield and pick something quick and easy for dinner that night to maximise the time you can spend getting to know your new flatmates. Lastly, it can be worth bringing biscuits or something you can offer around as an icebreaker – particularly if you enjoy baking, your housemates will love you!
Moving in day
I would recommend that the first thing you do when you have started unpacking is to make your bed! You probably won’t want to do it after unpacking for a few hours or later on when you could be socialising with your flatmates, and you definitely won’t want to do it when you return from a night out!Use that doorstop!
Moving to university is really exciting but you are bound to feel homesick at some point as it is such a big change! I found writing letters quite therapeutic and it was such a lovely feeling to receive one in return. Your family will also probably appreciate that you took the time to write them a letter, particularly older relatives such as grandparents! Skype is also a godsend, and if your laptop or computer doesn’t come with a webcam then it is worth buying one online so you can chat to friends and family and see them too!
Good luck with the move and enjoy yourself but remember that it is okay to feel nervous too!