Living Away from Home

Jamie HarperGeneral Student Living

If you have never lived away from home, it can be a daunting time moving into student accommodation in Lancaster on your own – often with complete strangers! You have probably spent your life up until now, not worrying about cooking, cleaning, washing and paying the household bills. On top of that, you may feel homesick to begin with, miss your friends, family and the comforts of your family home. It’s all completely normal to feel slightly overwhelmed at the start of term, but there are things you can do to get off to a great start and make the most of your time at university, rather than worrying.

See it as a new chapter in your life, a time to make great friends and fabulous memories. Take your mind off things initially, by immersing yourself in all the student activists on and off campus. It’s a good idea to try new things, such as free trials of different sports clubs and other groups in uni. There will be a lot going on in freshers week, so make the most of what’s on offer and get yourself signed up! At the very least, you’ll have an action packed time and most likely come away with some great friends. And who knows, you could be the next netball captain!

All this will help you to feel less lonely as you begin your journey. Keep in contact with your family, maybe schedule a time to call in the day or week. If you do find yourself struggling, there a lots of friendly organisations on campus which can help. Everything from counselling and support to financial and accommodation advice. Just head on down to your student services for more information and to be directed to the right place. Whatever you do, avoid hiding away in your room! Get out there and explore the area.

The university can also help with financial planning, if you find yourself struggling so you are never alone. To begin with, it’s a good idea to write everything down or better still, make a spreadsheet of all your bills and when they have to be paid. Speak to your bank about a student account, which often comes with an interest free overdraft, allowing you to cover those last minute expenses without the need to worry. Living away from home for the first time can certainly feel a little overwhelming, but you’ll soon be glad you made that move and realise that help and support is on your doorstep to get you on the right track.