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The Big Move!

by Shirley Erasmus

For many students moving away from home to University: whether you are moving into a residence or into a digs; this is a big move! You can no longer rely on your mom to keep the cupboards fully stocked and dinner on the table every night. You now have to fend for yourself. Never done laundry or cleaned a toilet? You’ll soon learn how.

Here are a few important tips to consider when about to make the big move.

Expect Nothing

Moving to University can be an unbelievably challenging but also exciting and life changing experience! Try not to let high expectations ruin your actual experience of University. Rather, try to approach every situation (and every new person) with an interested and open mind. It is easy to have an exaggerated idea of what University will be like and then feel disappointed if things do not turn out that way. Expect nothing and choose to create your own experiences!

Experience Residence

In my opinion, every student should experience at least one year of living in a University Residence. Residences are great places to meet new people and experience living in a student community. Residences also offer a great support structure for students. Moving into digs from the start of your University career can be incredibly isolating, so it is important to actively take part in the events planned by your University for off-campus students. Many students struggle to make friends and meet new people; however, being in a residence solves this problem provided you actively get involved in the activities and events offered by your residence! Private Residences are also an option.

Embrace Change

Moving to University can be a life changing experience if you allow it to be! Don’t be afraid to take a few subjects you’ve always been interested in, but unable to pursue during high-school! It’s also important to remember that for the first few weeks at University you can explore so many different interests and activities so don’t limit yourself! Join different societies and go to the introductory lectures offered by your University. These are also awesome opportunities to meet new, different people! Also attend the sports, societies and fresher events. These are great ways to see what’s on offer at your University! Even if you don’t sign up for anything, you will be sure to walk away with some freebies (you’ll probably never need to buy another pen again)!

Work Hard and Play Hard

University can be challenging when you’re adjusting to a new location, new people and a new schedule. Remember to make time to work hard at your assignments and lectures but also make time to relax! Go out with friends and enjoy activities that aren’t strictly academic. This is a sure way to avoid a burn-out later in the year!

Remember Your Roots

There is no shame in feeling homesick! Set up a routine for calling and/or visiting your family. Remember that your move away from home is also difficult for your family, so keeping in touch regularly is an important part of this transition! Don’t isolate yourself if you are struggling to adjust to your new lifestyle, there are many people around to provide support while you are at University; as long as you ask for help (don’t be shy!)

EduConnect 2cents

Our only piece of advice is this: Be safe. Crime is every where and so are chance-takers. Rather be safe than sorry and have someone who you can text so that someone knows where you are all times. With Whatsapp and IM, it’s super easy and cheap to be in contact with a friend about your whereabouts. And also have the areas emergency numbers on your phone. Don’t let us scare you though! The probability of something extreme happening to you isn’t very high. Being safe is never a bad thing in any circumstance.

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