Student Accommodation: Your Home Away from Home

By Sandra Porenta,

Student Blogger for the University of Aberdeen

For an anxious person like myself the prospect of moving away from everyone I know was quite daunting. As it turns out, living in student halls offered me the perfect opportunity to get used to living without family around, as well as for making new friends.

Getting to know your flatmates.

When arriving in September you are most likely plunged into a completely new environment and surrounded by new people. However, meeting your flatmates is a great starting point. Remember, they are in the same situation as you: they will be arriving within the same week as you, trying to sort out the same things and getting to know their new surroundings.

Why not figure things out together?

You can go with them to that first event that you are slightly nervous about; Tour around university? Bonfire at the beach or in the park? Doughnut night? Bring a flatmate with you to make the start easier.

Not to mention, if a flatmate of yours gets something done before you, they can help you out with information; Picking up your student ID and not sure where that building is? Not sure what you need to bring with you when registering with a GP? Ask a flatmate! Help each other out.

Not the most confident when meeting new friends? Not to worry!

Since you will all be making new friends, living with flatmates will also provide opportunities for meeting new people if this is something that you struggle with. They can introduce you to someone to dance with on your first ceilidh. You can meet new people that like the same shows as you when they come over for a movie night. You can make new friends when they come to celebrate your flatmate’s birthday. Not to mention, you might get a dog visitor if your flatmate happens to be Scottish and their parents come to visit!

Look forward to a year with this new kind of family.

The first few weeks can be the start of a year of having a great time with your flatmates. In my case, we organized a game of Secret Santa between ourselves, we had Christmas dinner together and we got rid of spiders together (of course we also later laughed about what a panic we made out of it). Having flatmates also means you have someone to bring you snacks or go to the pharmacy for you if you get sick and, if they happen to bake something, you might be the taster of some deliciously unhealthy pastries.

Oh no! Something went wrong? The maintenance team is your new best friend.

Has something stopped working properly and you have no parent to fix it? Let’s not forget that in student accommodation you can also get help from the maintenance team. Has the laundry machine locked in your clothes but is not washing? Is the plug for your sink stuck and you absolutely cannot get it out? Is there suddenly no warm water in your whole apartment? I must say that these all happened to me and I did start out by panicking (a lot) for absolutely no reason, so keep calm and contact the maintenance team.

With all the new, exciting and sometimes nerve-racking things going on around you as you start university, it is important to remember that you will always have a support system in student accommodation, your home for the year. Whether it is the residence team helping you get settled and making sure your new home is as it should be or your flatmates going with you through the stressful and the wonderful times.

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