Fatima Hayat, BEng (Hons) Biomedical Engineering
Are you a fresher that is about to move away from home? Well, worry not as I have got you covered! Starting uni in a different city/country can be a fairly difficult task, but all of your hard work will be worth it in the end.
Here are some ways to make your dorm life comfortable and productive.
The Green is the University’s very own award-winning student accommodation. It offers a sustainable living environment giving you the option of growing your own vegetables and herbs in your townhouse space. Just a 2-minute walk from campus, it is a great choice to walk and cut down on transportation costs.
Aside from The Green, there are also plenty of other options to choose from, such as Unipol, for which there are viewings so you can visit your prospective flats according to your requirements. It is best to start applying as soon as you get your study offer.
It is important to get to know your flatmates- while applying you can select the age group of the housemates as well as the option of living together with students on the same course as you- this will prove convenient as you will always be mindful of deadlines and lecture schedule in each others company. Although the opposite also has its perks- being grouped with Clinical Sciences and Optometry students, I got to learn and understand about the different fields that branch out from medicine which happened to improve understanding of my own field.
However, in any case, there is always the flexibility of moving to a different room/flat anytime throughout the year. The cooperative staff in the Orchard office are always ready to take immediate action in case of any issues like forgotten keys or needed repairs.
Maintaining your space
Even though the student life is as busy as it gets, tidying your room on a daily basis and decluttering as much as possible is key to a de-stressed mind. The flats and townhouses have large under-bed storages to put away unneeded baggage- a messy room and desk-space can lead to a stressed and boggled mind.
Set up your wardrobe on weekends accordingly to save time getting ready for uni throughout the week- iron clothes and hang them, while folding away comfortable clothes in the shelves of the closets rather than throwing them around the room.
Your room is the perfect place to express yourself. The pin-up boards in the rooms can be used as a ‘mood board’- putting up pictures and quotes that provide motivation for uni. A calendar with key dates is essential to keep yourself updated with uni tasks.
The University bookshop (Blackwell’s) also sells accessories like coloured bulbs, coasters, and wall-hangings that you can set up in your room. The Wilko store in town is also a perfect place for students to buy affordable homeware and stationery, as well as Home Bargains and Asda Living.
I had a series of multi-coloured fairy lights hung in my room- doing so improved the night-time ambience of the room and helped me destress after long hours of lectures.
Although decorating your room will be aesthetically pleasing to look at, make sure you only pack a handful from home, as you will have to empty your room at the end of the tenancy!
Feel closer to home
Ways to make your living space feel ‘closer to home’, especially for international students, can include using pictures of families and friends, candles (or any sort of familiar scent), and other items from home to make the room feel more familiar.
Events like Easter Egg Hunt, Fresher’s parties and decorating kitchen windows for Halloween and Christmas brings together the whole Green family. The Green Ambassadors regularly plan trips in and out of Yorkshire giving you the chance to explore and meet new people.
My Own Experience
As an International student, moving away from home was an arduous task. Thankfully I had the support of the Orchard Staff updating me with information.
I was lucky enough to live with such caring flatmates- once I moved in, they made sure I would not feel lonely without my family. After a whole day of lectures, my family of 5 was there on the kitchen table, waiting for me to have dinner together. I found people that I could vent to during the pressure of approaching deadlines and exams and celebrate with once they were over. Having a cup of cocoa together having deep conversations late at night will continue to be one of the most memorable moments.
As I am returning to start off my second year of Biomedical Engineering, I am excited to once again live in the Green!