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Tips for Starting University


Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: School of Creative Industries
Course:BA (Hons) Media Studies
Category: Language, literature and media

5 August 2021

I remember my move-in day as if it were only yesterday. The excitement, the slight fear, the things that I did right and where I could have improved. These are the tips that I would share with anyone who is moving into housing or student accommodation this September.

Keep your moving-in boxes

Think about it. You needed all of those cardboard boxes to move in in the first place, so why chuck them out? You’ll need them again at the end of the academic year, and scrabbling to buy or borrow a load of boxes or moving services isn’t the most fun.

If you bring your packing tape and scissors with you, you can flat-pack your boxes and store them under your bed in a way that doesn’t take up a load of space. Then, when the time comes to move out, you can use the tape to build the boxes back up again.

You don’t need 1,000 novels

I enjoy reading. However, I clearly overestimated how much of it I would be doing at the beginning of university. Realistically you aren’t going to be left with an abundance of spare time to read lots of books so, if I were you, I’d bring a selection but not too many to carry. Bear in mind that you will have a library as well as many second hand book stores. I get my books from a charity shop on Burleigh Street near the ARU Cambridge campus for only 50p each!

Bring some home comforts with you

Moving away is a big step. I’m here to remind you that there’s nothing wrong with bringing cuddly toys, ornaments or fairy lights with you if they make you feel more comfortable. I have a number of cuddly toys at my place even though I’m in my 20’s. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Double check your double checking

In regards to both your packing as well as knowing where you need to be going. When I was moving in I made lists and labelled each box so I knew where everything was. If you’re fortunate to already know someone at ARU like I did, perhaps see if they’re available to help you find your way around. Regardless you will be given instructions, maps and even events to attend to assist your settling in period.

Meet your flatmates sooner as opposed to later

Like many people in the world, I found the prospect of meeting my new “uni family” scary. I made the deliberate decision to meet them the day after I moved in by lingering around in the kitchen. If you hide out in your room for too long and avoid people it only makes you feel more nervous in the end. Remember, you’re all in the same boat and they probably feel nervous about meeting you too!

Moving in can be a hectic time but once you’re settled in the thrill of knowing how many new adventures await is amazing. I wish you the best of luck with your journey, and hope that the time ahead of you brings great things!

Find out more about studying at ARU

If you're interested in studying Media Studies like Ciéra, come along to an Open Day to find out more about this course – or the other undergraduate degrees on offer at ARU.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.