Living Independently

Hey all, I hope you’re having a fantastic Summer so far and are making use of this beautiful (if overly-exotic!) weather!

One of the things about University that can be nerve-wracking, dependent on whether you’re moving in to Halls/a student house or if you’re moving far from home, is living independently. There are a few reasons this might be; shopping for groceries and necessities, cooking, cleaning and being away from your family and home-based friends. If we went down that list and focus on my life experience before University, I helped with the shopping at home but didn’t have to make sure I had everything on my list considering my dad did that, I had only ever cooked pancakes and egg bread, I didn’t do much cleaning and as I never travelled much I had my family and friends near me. So, the idea of having to look after myself and being away from the people I loved terrified me, especially since I’d also have to travel independently and I’d never done that either!

Now, there’ll be some of you who have just read that and thought ‘how did this girl not do any of the stuff I’ve been doing for years before uni?’, but there’ll also be people reading it and relating. Everyone has different life experiences. The main thing is, though, it’s a life change.

There are ways of dealing with these things though! The independence you get can really help you grow as a person, and it really did for me! The best thing to do is try methods to help with those things, such as writing down things you need as you need them for shopping, cooking with the people you’ll be living with so that you can both help each other and learn things off each other, making sure you don’t isolate yourself and travelling with the friends you make if they’re going in the same direction.

If you start to feel homesick or just need someone to talk to, the University also offer some great wellbeing services. You can speak to one of the Wellbeing team at any time, but they also offer a Counselling service at Milton House, a small student GP just off campus. Milton House offers one to one counselling appointments, both regular and walk-in, and also do things such as Stress-Control courses.

So, there are many different things you can do to help with easing yourself in to living independently. It seems worrying until you actually move there, trust me, you’ll be getting to know your way around and enjoying the Uni life sooner than you think!

Things to keep in mind when living with friends

Living with your friends sounds like the ultimate dream right?! Well, it really can be, but you need to remember that you and your friends are completely different people. You don’t truly know a person until you live with them and you may have a bit of a shock when you move in. Luckily I’ve complied a list of things to keep in mind when living with friends that should make your time as housemates as fun as you always imagined.

Different backgrounds
You and you friends will have undoubtedly come from different backgrounds. Whether that’s places, races, religions or even just a different family dynamic. This will always affect the way they live their day to day lives. You need to be respectful of your friend’s traditions, the way they keep their room and their schedules – whatever is important to them. In order to live harmoniously, you’ll have to learn to strike up compromises when your ideas clash with those of your friends. It’s not as hard as it sounds; for example, if you come from the kind of family where there is lots of noise and your friend comes from a small family and prefers silence in the house, you’ll have to talk it out and work out what level of noise is appropriate for the both of you to live comfortably.

Different ideas of clean
One of the biggest differences I had to deal with when living in a student house was mine and my friends’ differing ideas of how clean the house should be. I’m a self-proclaimed ‘neat freak’, I hate the idea of anything being less than spotless – which makes me a real pain to live with sometimes, but I’ve had to learn to accept that things never stay that way – which is totally normal. One way to combat this is to draw up a cleaning rota and stick to it. Each person has their own responsibilities to complete in their own time and then the cleaning isn’t just left to one person. It’s also good to dedicate one day a week to cleaning – a day that everyone is free – and then you have a bit of a routine going.

Boundaries
When you sign up to live with other people to sign up to seeing them at the worst as well as their best. There will be times when your friends feel low or act a bit moody. You need to establish from the beginning what their boundaries are and what’s best to do in those situations. Some people like to have people around them when they’re feeling sad and others want to be alone. Establishing and respecting these boundaries will make those times so much easier for everyone.

Chill time
One of the most important things to remember is to take time out. Enjoy living with your friends, don’t get so wrapped up in work that you end up ignoring them all year. Enjoy the time you have to do movie nights or video game sessions or whatever you enjoy doing. It’s incredibly important to bond!
Until next time! 🙂

It’s just another manic Monday…

I wish it was Sunday…

Anyway, enough of the Bangles, how are you?

I’m good. Actually, I’m really good. All my assignments are finished and submitted, my presentation went super well and our group worked so well as a team (well done guys) and lastly I have my first and only exam of the year on Thursday. I can’t even describe how excited I am to get it out of the way and to finally say goodbye to exam stress, revision and worries about results.

I feel like 2016 is looking good already. One of my new year resolutions was to be more optimistic, so maybe that’s why I see a silver lining for everything at the minute, but positivity is actually making me smile way more, yay. Once this exam is out of the way, my dissertation is going to be my main focus, then assignments, graduation and then, well, life I guess. I’ve started to think what’s after uni and I have a range of options. I’m most likely going to take a year out, hopefully travelling, exploring and getting lost half way around the globe… but after that I need to start with a career direction. I’ve been thinking about whether to do a post-grad qualification, or maybe an extension to my course to possibly go into counselling? But who knows.

Anyway less about me, more about you… How’s college? Decided what course you’re studying at EHU next year? Excited? You should be! Uni is a whole new ball game. You’re going to love the independence, from learning how to manage your own money (sometimes poorly, but it’s all a learning curve) to deciding what to have for tea, it’s all very exciting. The social life is fantastic and you genuinely will meet your friends for life here (I definitely have) and studying a subject that you love makes everything worthwhile.

I’m jealous I can’t start again with you, but I’m very excited for the next chapter to begin…

Until next time…

This week…

I am going to Spain! (tomorrow!) 🙂

This isn’t my first time abroad without my parents, however, it is my first girly holiday! I am going with my best friend who is also at University, but she’s in Preston.

If it wasn’t for me coming to University, I don’t think I would be as prepared for life the way I am now. I look back and see that 3 years ago, my mum would be packing my suitcase and telling me to what to take, and what to wear everyday! Whereas now, I’ve done it all on my own and even budgeted my money out for when I am out there.

It’s not just independence you gain from your University experience, it’s maturity, which as my parents keep pointing out, is a really good thing to have, because it opens up your eyes up to things, that you previously would have dismissed.

We’re only going for a week, but I am so excited to de-stress and chill out, after what has been a really stressful few months at University, with regards to exams and coursework deadlines. And… I know I’ve said it before, but reading a non law book for fun is the best feeling ever!

I’m grateful for my University life, because if it wasn’t for Edge Hill, I wouldn’t be where I am now. 🙂