Adjusting to a new city is difficult at any moment in your life. But it’s even harder when you’re moving away for the very first time to study at University. Sometimes it’s within the same country and sometimes it just happens to be in a whole other continent! Don’t fret– because this is your ultimate guide to adjusting to a new city in order to further your education (or, in some cases, spend a couple of years getting hammered).
1. Put Yourself Out There
This is a crucial tip to follow, especially in a new city where you don’t know anyone. Moving into halls on your first day? Leave your door open and make the first initiative with your flatmates. A simple ‘hey’ will go a long way your first year and will establish an approachable personality. And if you’re not approachable, well then, fake it ’till you make it!
In most cases, all freshers are as terrified (and excited) as you are. Be the one to make the first move; with every first move you make, the next one becomes easier and easier.
2. Buy A Bus Pass
If you do not own a car or a license, it’s not an issue. Public transport is very common in a lot of places, even if your university is in a remote location in a smaller town. Splurge on a yearly bus (or train, tube, etc.) pass, because not will it save you money in the long run, but it allows you to explore your new home!
Whenever you have a day off, hop on a bus and visit local attractions, restaurants and cafes. Better yet, ask your new flatmates to join you on a little trip. You can spend the day bonding and discovering hidden gems.
3. Join Societies
I can’t stress this one enough: join societies at your new Uni, and join a lot of them. It doesn’t matter if you end up dropping out of half of them or ignoring most of the emails. You will find at least a few societies you enjoy being a part of, whether it’s hockey, creative writing or quidditch (yes, this is a real thing in real life).
This is also a fantastic way of meeting new and interesting people if you want to expand your friendship group. Not only that, but it’s a way to share hobbies, recommend places to visit and keep your mind busy for when you’re feeling homesick.
4. Cherish Your Alone Time
Do not be scared to be alone at times. This is not alarming at the slightest. In a new city, it might feel like you’re isolated and lonely, but this is not always a bad thing. Uni sometimes becomes so overwhelming and stressful that you will crave some ‘you’ time.
Learn to be alone and independent in order to discover who you are. Go to a coffee shop and read a book (or study!). Go to the cinema alone and do not worry about what everyone else is thinking, because the truth is this: no one cares.
5. Don’t Be A Tourist
Granted, at first, you technically are a tourist. But, since you’ll be studying at University for a couple of years in a place of your choosing, then you become a sort of honorary local. Most students go on to live in the city even after they’ve graduated from University, so you might be one of them!
Yes, visit all the tourist attractions and obvious places, but do not attach yourself to them as you will run into a lot of tourists. To get a better feel of your new city, talk to the locals and ask their opinion, as well. They know the location better than anyone (even Google). You might be surprised by what you find in every nook and cranny.
6. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
And finally, learn to have a laugh. Laugh at yourself and find humor in things that others might find too serious. Oh, you missed the bus? Laugh at your timing and wait for the next one. Did you fall over and spill your drink at the nightclub? It’s okay, just laugh with your friends and order another.
Uni is about making unforgettable memories, but also about finding yourself in a foreign place. Change is not always bad, because it helps shape you as a person.