One minute you’re just out of nappies and being packed off to nursery school, the next you’re leaving home to go to university. New town, new beginnings and a whole new place to live – possibly only the second place you’ve ever lived in your life. Scary stuff.
On the whole, student accommodation tends to be more functional and practical than homely and inviting, so below are some tips to make your student accommodation feel like home.
Bring or buy your own bedding
If you’re in furnished student accommodation, bedding might be provided. However, nothing beats sleeping in your own bedding from your own bed, so bring your bedding with you (if your parents don’t mind, of course).
Alternatively, if your bedding from home is more your mum’s taste than yours or you don’t want your new friends to see you still sleep under a Superman duvet, now is the perfect opportunity to express your personality through the medium of your duvet cover and pillow cases.
Along the same lines as your bedding, throwing some throws around can bring a bit of colour and life to what otherwise are usually perfectly clean but characterless rooms. Other soft furnishings such as cushions and rugs can also cheer the place up a bit.
Posters and prints
Before you cover every square inch of your walls with posters of your favourite band (do people still do that or am I showing my age?) check your student accommodation agreement to see what type of wall fixings you’re allowed to use.
For example, nails will probably be a definite ‘no’ but there may also be restrictions on using fixings such as Blu-Tack. There’s no need to despair though, as there are non-destructive products available such as Command Strips (or cheaper equivalent) that will allow you to put up posters and prints without damaging the wall.
If you really don’t want to risk it, prints in frames on a shelf or cabinet look just as good. And if posters aren’t your thing, you could get creative by hanging up a university hoodie, your letterman jackets or another fun memento from your school experience.
We’re sure your student accommodation has perfectly good lighting. After all, you’re at university to study, and reading requires good lighting.
But while the overhead lighting you’ll be provided with will be great for reading by, it will probably lack any atmosphere or ambience.
This lack of atmosphere is easily fixed with fairy lights and lamps. A word of warning though – while we’re aware candles are great for mood lighting, you almost definitely won’t be allowed to have naked flames in your room.
Plants are an excellent way to make your student accommodation feel like home. As long as you remember to water your plants occasionally, they’ll cheer up your room, add a bit of nature and, as plants are natural air-purifiers, they’ll do you good while you sleep off a heavy night.
In case you’re wondering, succulents and cacti are the best plants for the non-green-fingered amongst you. Unlike leafier plants, succulents actually thrive on a bit of neglect and you’re in far more danger of overwatering a succulent than underwatering it.
Unpack your belongings
Even if you ignore all the advice above, don’t ignore this bit.
If you arrive at your student accommodation and decide there’s no point unpacking because you’ll be going home every weekend and every holiday and you won’t even be in student accommodation for that much of the year, then think again and unpack those boxes and suitcases.
Why? For one thing, as soon as you start making friends (which will be as soon as you venture into the kitchen), you’ll forget any idea about going home every weekend.
Plus, you’ll never feel at home if you don’t unpack your belongings and make your room feel like a home, not a hotel.
Combat homesickness by making your student accommodation feel like home
It’s perfectly normal to feel homesick at times when you start university. In fact, the NUS reports that around 50-70% of students feel homesick during their first few months. But by making your student accommodation feel like home, you can combat some of that homesickness as you start your new life.