Imagine your first day of school, or your first time riding a bike. Whilst you were likely to have been excited, you probably also had nerves about it. The first day of moving uni, a place where you will spend the whole upcoming year, is equally important and probably even more nerve-wracking.
It’s a new beginning in your life and the place you are going to live will likely decide your rhythm and routine for the next year. Living off-campus sets extra priorities, such as waking up earlier for lectures than students living on campus. Living on campus means you’ll have to think about spending money on a bus pass in order to get into town, so you might have a little less to spend on other things. Moving in is a particularly special moment for someone living away from home for the first time, with people from different backgrounds in a totally new environment, and it’s a moment we should treasure.
On my first day moving into my new home for the year, I remember just being surprised that it was sunny, rather than raining! I was among the first ones to arrive. My luggage was heavier than me, but my enthusiasm exceeded both. As soon as I got my key from a nice lady with a very welcoming smile, I headed to my room. It was quiet and warm and when I entered my room the curtains were closed; they filtered the light with pink and orange refractions of colours. It immediately felt like home. Soon after I met all my flatmates and we honestly had fun together from that day until the day we had to move out. The memories we have are amazing: we learnt to cook together (and luckily nobody set the kitchen on fire), we went to study in the library and student centre together (or at least we tried), we went to parties together and walked back to our flat together (and at times we had to look for those who got lost). These moments are priceless and for that reason I think one of the best bits of student life is at the beginning when everything that happens to you feels so new and exciting.
The room I moved into at the beginning of my first year was completely empty, and I filled it up with books, clothes, coffee, posters and, the most important, friends. Living without your parents might seem scary now: no one is going to be cooking for you anymore, no one is going to be cleaning up after you, and you’re actually going to have to learn how to use a washing machine. You’re starting to be a grown up, but that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s amazing to experience total freedom and to be able to set your own priorities, surround yourself with kind and intelligent people, and embrace the memories you’ve made together. So, after being here for more than a year now I can tell you, being a student is not about wearing that graduation robe (well…it’s cool to take pictures of it and post them on facebook with #thanksmom or #notastudentanymore) but it’s about being actively engaged in what student life has to offer. And it offers you a lot.