September brings the end of summer and the end of summer means back to school. We know, you didn’t want to hear it yet but it’s time to face up to the denial and admit you’re going to uni pretty damn soon. If you’re going into your first year then we’ve got some good news; we’ve made a list of all the situations you’re likely to find yourself in before you actually find yourself in them. Just a helping hand – you’re welcome.
1) The “Missing’ Food
The fridge debate is an age-old university problem. Who gets what shelf, how do we split up the door shelves and which unlucky one is stuck with the weird plastic bin-like drawers at the bottom. What really adds salt to the wound is the secret robberies that take place. Like when some rascal keeps stealing your milk and you don’t know who it is. Sure, you’ve got your suspects but you need cold, hard evidence to accuse someone of such a heinous crime. This is why people start writing their names on everything. That’s probably not a sign of a healthy flat dynamic though.
2) Accidentally Over-Shopping
Right, so you go to the shops because you need to pick up one little thing and you end up leaving with nine more items than you wanted in the first place. Don’t worry, you’ll still forget the only thing you came into the shops for. Like that time you bought all the ingredients for a really nice pasta – chicken, a nice mushroom sauce, parmesan cheese – and then forgot to get any pasta. We’ve all done it. To be fair it’s bloody hard to not notice all the cool things they sell at supermarkets – who knew they did vegan magnums? Unreal.
It’s a totally normal and human thing to get homesick. It doesn’t make you weak that you’re missing your family, your dog or your bed and we guarantee that everyone else will go through it at some point as well. You’re in a new environment with new people you don’t properly know yet and sometimes you need a good cuddle without anyone asking why. The best thing you can do is call home (maybe even a FaceTime if your parents are tech savvy enough) and have a good catch up. Then ask your closest mate at uni if they fancy going out for a pint/tea/coffee/food or whatever; just so you can have a good chat. Don’t feel like you have to chat to them about it but, equally, it can be helpful to do so. Remember that you’ll see them before you know it.
4) Physical Sickness
Everyone does this one. You spend all week pulling all-nighters, overtired and eventually, mixed with the endless pot noodles and ready meals for dinner, you’ll fall ill. They call it ‘Freshers Flu’ but here’s how to recover when you inevitably get it. Start resting and eat properly. It’s too easy to eat what you want because Mum’s not about to tell you to eat your vegetables. But, trust Mum, it’s in your best interest to eat well and look after yourself. You never listen. You’ll learn at some point. Mum’s not angry, just disappointed.
5) Spending Half the Time in Your Mates Room
Honestly, there’s something so comforting about sitting in your best mates room, three hours into a deep chat about the state of the government, when you only popped your head round the door to ask if they wanted a tea. We know it seems daunting now, but these people will become your best mates and you’re going to be spending a lot of time together – so make the effort to get to know them now.
6) How to Cook/Wash/Survive by Yourself
God knows why they don’t teach you this stuff at school. A washing machine looks like a big, unsolvable Rubik’s Cube to us. Cooking, washing and managing not to die is a big part of growing up so looks like it’s time to learn how. It doesn’t mean that your flatmates will learn how to clean though. Be prepared to walk in on an Olympic level game of ‘Bin Tetris’ because no one wants to take it out, or a search for a clean mug because all of them are dirty in the sink thanks to your flatmates. You’ll be fine. Probably.
7) Pasta is Your Best Friend
Carbs, carbs, carbs. The perfect uni student runs off copious amounts of pasta. They’ve progressed from the pot noodles and microwave meals onto the sustainable future: endless bowls of pasta. Sometimes you might even eat it straight out of the saucepan. Saves on washing up doesn’t it?
8) We’re All in the Same Boat
We know it’s nerve wracking to meet so many new people; especially the ones you’re living with for the next year. But remember, you’re all in the same situation. Try to keep calm, take some deep breaths and knock on your neighbour’s door to say hello. People will also be grateful for the chance to get out of their room and introduce themselves too.
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