Moving away from home into student accommodation can be pretty daunting.
The chances are it’s the first time you’re spending away from loved ones, and so it’s only natural that you’ll feel a little homesick. In fact, 69% of freshers feel the same for a while.
One way that you can combat your homesickness is to make your student accommodation feel more cosy and welcoming. Whether you’ve moved into dorms or you’re sharing with friends (or strangers!), check out these top tips on turning your new house into a home…
If your student accommodation is packed with ugly and outdated furniture, get creative and disguise whatever you don’t like. Old sofas can be given some TLC with a throw and some jazzy cushions, and tables and cabinets can be sanded down and repainted on a budget.
If your student accommodation is a little whiffy, treat yourself to some candles and diffusers to freshen it up and make your bedroom smell more like home. Of course, you should check there’s no damp or underlying issues first, and give everything a good clean, too. Powdered carpet freshener can also be a lifesaver; sprinkle onto the floor and hoover it to mask smells.
One of the biggest reasons why student accommodation feels nothing like home is because everything is plain and drab. Those wood-effect wardrobes, magnolia walls and office-style carpets can be awful to look at, so buy a couple of colourful rugs and cushions to bring your room to life. Black-out curtains are a must, too; you can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep.
Fill your room with photographs of people you love. Print off your favourite selfies and group photos using an app like FreePrints and stick them to your walls or to a noticeboard. You can also throw in a light box which you can personalise with your favourite quote, and buy a few wooden initials painted in your favourite colours. Make it yours; you’ll be there all year!
Another way to brighten up dull and boring places is to inject some greenery. Houseplants are super affordable and give you something to focus your attention on. If you can’t even keep a goldfish alive, then opt for low-maintenance houseplants like cacti or snake plants; they’re Instagram-worthy and even convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, improving air quality.
One common complaint amongst students is that their bedrooms and living spaces look and feel characterless. There’s a desk, an en-suite, a wardrobe and a bed, and that’s your lot. With some imagination, you can rearrange furniture to divide your room into separate areas; a study wall, a sleep wall, an entertainment wall, and a getting ready wall. Uber-practical!
One of the biggest challenges of living with others is cleaning. Nobody wants to walk into a dirty bathroom on a morning or have to wash fifty plates before making their breakfast, so set up a routine and ensure everyone pulls their weight. If your student house is sparkling clean, you’ll feel relaxed and at home, rather than having to pick toast crumbs off your socks.
Okay, so this one sounds a little Cbeebies, but it’s worth a mention. One way to make your new student house feel more homely is to customise doors using stickers or cardboard, labelling everyone’s bedroom and communal spaces. Not only does this give everyone a chance to express themselves, but you’ll be less likely to walk into someone else’s room!
Dark and dingy bedroom? Lighting can transform the appearance of your room and make you feel at ease. Visit your local supermarket or DIY store and pick up a couple of lamps and some fairy lights and decorate the way you want to. Consider daylight-emulating bulbs for the winter months and buy a reading light for your bedside table so you can study before you sleep. And if you’re on a budget, visit some second-hand shops or a car boot sale instead.
Don’t skimp when it comes to bedding and towels. Paying a little more for quality bedding and soft, fluffy towels will make your student accommodation feel more like a fancy hotel, and it’ll help you sleep better, too. Low-iron duvet sets are a godsend if you’re too busy sipping drinks with friends in the Student Union or catching up on lectures you fell asleep in.
The easiest way to make sure your uni accommodation feels like home is to add as many little touches and reminders as you can. Bring that cute teddy bear you’ve had since you were a baby and that ornament that you can stand on the windowsill. It’s so easy to head to your new student accommodation with everything brand new, but a few sentimental touches will make all the difference and make your home away from home a little more palatable.
What tips would you add to this list? Join in the conversation on Twitter and check back soon for more tips and tricks on living your best student life, every week here at Billing Better.