Moving in day is fast approaching, a day which the prospective first year students of Loughborough both dread and wait in earnest for. I remember my own moving in day on September 27 2011. The three and a half hour journey from Kent did not calm my nerves, neither did the Hoisin duck wrap from Revs which my parents forced me to eat whilst I anxiously counted down the approaching minutes until my moving in slot. And so, from my experience, I give to you ten pieces of personal advice for the first day of the rest of your university life.
1. Book a slot and get there early. You do not want to be rushed or panicked, you are already going to be wetting yourself with a heady mix of excitement and fear, so it is best to reduce this anxiety as much as possible by arriving calm and relaxed within plenty of time.
2. Once in your room, prop the door open. You will probably reach for the nearest fire extinguisher for this task and much to Campus Living’s dismay; it seems to be the right man for the job. An open door will encourage anyone passing by to pop their head in and say hello.
3. Turn on your laptop and put on some music as you unpack. Preferably play something that appeals to the wider demographic, even if you do love heavy metal, try and stick to something a little more mainstream for your first encounters. Or to be safe, Radio 1.
4. You will get bored of asking everyone you meet “Hi what’s your name? Where are you from? What course are you studying?” but it is a great way to break the ice, find common ground and avoid awkward pauses. Even if your second cousin’s ex-boyfriend is from a town near them, at least you have something to continue the conversation with!
5. Let your parents unpack the car and move your umpteen boxes and suitcases into your new abode. Allow your mum to make your bed (she will insist) and let your dad do the heavy lifting, but then ask them to make a swift exit. Your mum can cry the whole journey home, not outside your bedroom door.
6. If you’re a drinker, take it easy on the first night and know your limits. You don’t want to be that person with a dodgy reputation 24 hours in, or the one who vomits down their freshers t-shirt at the first Hey Ewe (bear in mind that you are expected to wear that t-shirt for the next fortnight). Have a few, let loose and relax, but just avoid doing anything you’d be embarrassed by the next morning, when you have to see all your new acquaintances sober.
7. Pack a few things from home that can be shared. It may be alcohol, bacon for your very first fresher hangover or UV paint for one of the dress up nights. It is another great way to make friends and get talking to people.
8. Go to all the endless meetings that you’re expected to, they may seem boring but you need to fully immerse yourself into university life, especially in these vital first few days
9. Don’t pack your bags in line with the endless fresher checklists that circulate, nobody likes a know-it-all and your first trip to Tescos with your new mates will be momentous. Once you’ve settled in you’ll realise you’ve brought no cutlery and shower gel instead of shampoo, so grab the guy down the corridor whose been nicking your butter, jump on the bus and go and explore the delights of Loughborough town.
10. Finally, do not freak out if you don’t like your flatmates. There are a million opportunities to make friends from all walks of university life at Loughborough, and the first people you meet will certainly not be the last people you remember when you graduate in a few years time.
Try not to dread moving in day too much. You may feel like the nervous 11-year-old starting your first day of Year 7 in a blazer that’s four times too big but remember everybody is feeling exactly the same. So smile, introduce yourself, and don’t waste a moment of it.
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