Guest blog: Settling in

Good morning all!
Today we have a guest blog from Residence life team member Helen Anderson.

Not long now until arrivals! We’re really looking forward to welcoming you all – to help you prepare, here are our tips on settling in. 

Personalise your room 

All our rooms have the basics you need for study and life in Exeter… but to really make your room into your home, you’ll need to personalise it a bit. 

Of course there are some things that aren’t allowed (like candles/incense, or sticking things to the walls with tape or blu-tack) but there’s loads you can do to perk up your room. Photos from home, posters, cushions, throws, plants, art, rugs – you name it! We recommend involving all your senses – think about the kinds of smells, sounds and textures that will make your space feel comfortable. Once you spend some time getting your bags unpacked, your things all put away, and those finishing touches arranged, you’ll most likely find that your room will feel much more your own.  

Introduce yourself to your neighbours 

Once you’ve moved in, it’s time to say hello to people in your flat or corridor. A packet of biscuits can help to break the ice – or why not make a sign to hang on your door handle introducing yourself? That way anyone else arriving will know you’ve moved in.  

Bonus points if you can start to introduce people to one another, or to interesting things you’ve discovered on campus or around the city – sharing your knowledge to help other people settle in, too.  

Get out and about (if you can) 

If you find yourself feeling a bit unsure, it can be tempting to stay in your room rather than venture out – but we’d really recommend exploring your surroundings a bit. There are tons of events in Freshers’ Week and beyond – why not try something new? Throughout the year you’ll have the chance to get involved in societiessports, and volunteering, and the Residence Life Team run regular drop-ins and events throughout the year. Starting to make connections with the people and groups around you is an important in settling into a new place. And don’t feel limited to campus-based activities – connecting with the local area is great, too.  

We know some of you may need to quarantine or self-isolate, and of course that means spending time in your room. If that’s you, check out the info here for more ideas on how to keep yourself occupied while you isolate.  

It takes time 

It’s really normal to take a while to settle in. Friendships take time to form, and your mental map of a new place isn’t drawn overnight. All these things grow bit by bit – please don’t panic if you find you’re feeling unsettled to begin with. You won’t feel that way forever.  

During Freshers’ Week the days don’t have much structure – which can make it harder to feel settled. If you’re staying up late, getting up late, eating lots of junk food, maybe drinking more alcohol than you do at other times… you may find that you don’t feel 100%. (Shocker, we know.) If that’s you, we recommend you have a couple of earlier nights, eat some vegetables, do some exercise, and just generally try to practice really good self care. Things should start to feel a bit more normal when your timetable kicks in! 

If there’s anything you’d like to talk about, please do reach out to Residence Life – or follow us on FacebookInstagram or TikTok for more tips from the team. 

Residence Life Helen 

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