Moving anywhere new is hard and moving into halls can be a difficult experience and a lot of people, understandably, get homesick. We hate to seem cruel, but get used to it: you’re going to be at university for a long time, now, and even when you’re finished it’s pretty unlikely (in our experience) that you’ll want to move back in with your parents. So, it’s time to be pro-active – the only way you’ll start to feel more comfortable with moving away from home and into halls is if you start to make your halls feel like a home; that is what they are now, after all.
We’ve gathered a few suggestions that will help you start to consider your halls as your home, but the real message here is simply to make yourself feel comfortable with the place. If our creature comforts aren’t for you, then go ahead and do whatever you like. Sleep in handcuffs or keep a bucket of meat in your room if it helps you feel comfortable, whatever. Just make sure that you start to feel at home.
Everything else will come naturally after that, but feeling at home is something you should focus on – it’s how you’ll get the very best out of your first year.
So, without further ado, here’s our list of stuff that you could do to achieve that goal. You don’t need to do any of these, but in our experience they help. Go crazy, man. Do whatever feels right.
Posters. Paintings. Marker pen. Whatever. Just cover your room with a little bit of personality, and make sure you’re able to repair the damage once you leave, or you’ll get charged for holes in the walls left by blu-tac and that kind of stuff. If you’re going to use marker pen, then try in a corner of the room first and see if it wipes off with nail-varnish remover. If it does, then go right ahead and make sure you sort the room out afterwards.
Generally, though, go for blu-tack – it’s the best thing to use. Oh, and never, ever use Sellotape. It will only go badly for you when it comes to taking stuff down – half the wall will come off with it and you’ll end up with a bill for re-plastering the entire block.
It will only go badly for you when it comes to taking stuff down – half the wall will come off with it and you’ll end up with a bill for re-plastering the entire block
Don’t limit your postering and painting to just your room if you don’t want to, either – you want all of the halls to feel like a home, and your house-mates may appreciate the odd poster.
If you’re a bit of a party-er (well done), then consider keeping some of your conquests for room decorations. And by that we mean keeping beer/vodka/rum/ohmygodisthatevenlegal bottles somewhere or even the obligatory traffic cone (Coursefindr does not condone the theft of highway maintenance equipment). It’s a timeless student classic, and offers unlimited excitement when mum or dad comes to visit and see what you’ve made of the place.
On a serious note, it’s probably not a good idea to do that, in case you were wondering. Might make it more difficult to make friends. But definitely decorate your room to your style, is what we’re saying – that’ll be the fastest way to make it feel like home.
Lighting is a very important aspect in any living space, and you never really notice until you’ve bought an extra light how nice it is to have more control over the level of light. You can move from porn lighting to revision lighting to desperately-trying-to-stay-awake-because-you-have-an-essay lighting. Whatever your poison is, consider investing in an extra lamp or two to get a bit more choice and so you can decorate your room with a bit more ease.
By the same token, consider getting your hands on some coloured light bulbs to generally jazz the place up a little bit – it’s just more fun that way.
Nice smelling stuff. Smell is neglected generally as just a thing that happens when you forget the pizza box under your bed. It doesn’t have to be this way, consider buying some nice smelling candles or incense (and don’t let anyone catch you burning them inside) or something a little more masculine if you really don’t want to be caught with smelly candles. Maybe taurine extract or testosterone spray. Whatever you go for, just make sure your room smells nice and habitable, if not good.
By the same token, try to occasionally open your window and let some fresh air in – it’s all very well burning scented candles or spraying something, but in the end if you don’t have a window open you’re just going to end up in a room full of stuff-that-isn’t-oxygen. Which – and we might need to check a textbook on this one – is probably a bad thing.
Your collection of books. Or CDs. Or comics. Again, it really doesn’t matter what collection it is, and yes, it may be a bit of a pain and a little impractical to move it to a new place, but it’ll certainly help you feel at home in your environment, and give you a nice opportunity to show off the next time someone puts their head through your door.
This is going to sound horribly cynical, but make sure that you keep whatever collection it is under careful scrutiny. There have been cases of students stealing from other students before, and there will be again – don’t be nasty about it, just keep an eye out.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, do whatever makes you more comfortable – that’s what being at home is all about.