Moving onto campus and learning to live by yourself as a first-year university student can be as intimidating as it is exciting. Adjusting to a new setting and an unfamiliar environment might be challenging at first. You will have to cope with a different culture and find your place in a foreign community. This is a reality for most students transitioning into post-secondary education. Many students feel apprehensive about their university experience.
So, you might find yourself caught between planning for course registrations, figuring out where your classes will be held, and learning to balance personal, academic, and leisure activities, all while stressing about everything you should consider before you move onto campus. The key is to have a checklist to help you make a smooth transition to a promising first year at university. Here’s what you need to consider before you settle in.
No.1: Make a what-to-pack list
The first thing to consider is checking what your university residence will provide. This will allow you to make a more concise list of what you need to bring with you. You can split your belongings into different categories to determine what to pack, what to buy after you arrive, and what to leave at home.
Appliances & Electronic
Bath, Linens & Laundry
Shared & Miscellaneous items (check with roommates)
-Pens and pencils
-Small trash can
-External hard drive
-USB flash drive
-Fan and/or heater
-Sheets and pillowcases
Pro tip: It’s a good idea to reach out to your roommates beforehand to decide who can bring what so you don’t end up with duplicate appliances.
Keep in mind that if you are moving into a traditional room, cooking appliances like toasters, microwaves, and hot plates are not allowed.
Check the university campus website to figure out what you are allowed to bring and what you aren’t.
No.2: Compile all your important documents in one place
Make sure you have all the necessary documents and paperwork in order. This includes your passport, driving license, acceptance letter, accommodation agreement, insurance paperwork, vaccination history, bank debit card, class timetable, and prescription copies if you have a medical condition.
No.3: Get to know the area
If you’re attending university in a different city, make sure you factor in some time to explore the new area. Hit up the local attractions and get to know your new home. From museums and galleries to local restaurants and cafes, immerse yourself in the culture and learn your way around the city.
No.4: Meet your roommate(s) and make connections
University is an amazing opportunity to meet new people and make connections. By getting to know your future roommates and classmates via social media, you can break the ice, get to know your common interests, and plan your first week at university together, whether it be exploring the city or getting a head start on university courses.
No.5: Get organized for classes
Class registration usually starts before you get to move to campus and some professors assign readings prior to the beginning of the semester. Hit the ground running by completing any essential readings before you arrive. Your success at university hinges on your time management skills and your ability to study independently. So, get into the habit of taking action and stay on top of your coursework to ensure you do not fall behind later on during the semester.
No.6: Learn some essential skills
The transition to university life comes with many big changes.
Since this is most likely the first time you will be living away from home, there are a few essential skills you need to learn to be prepared for the shift ahead. This includes budgeting, goal setting, networking, roommates’ etiquette, time management, and interpersonal skills like communication, problem-solving, and leadership. Mastering a few recipes and knowing your way around a washing machine are also great everyday skills to acquire prior to your big move.
No.7: Establish positive habits
Your everyday habits are what stand between you and the academic success you aspire to achieve. It’s those small moments and day-to-day occurrences that move the needle toward the future of your dreams. This is why it’s important to establish positive habits that will not only serve you in your academic development but for the rest of your life.
This includes learning to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Incorporating healthy meals into your day, finding a form of exercise you enjoy, and pursuing an emotional outlet like journaling or meditating will help you strike a healthy balance and manage stress in the long run.
The weeks leading up to your first year at university can be anxiety-inducing. Take control of your transition into campus life with this guide. Remember that once you’re all settled in, university years can be some of the best of your whole life.
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