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Meet Caitlin: Our international Uni Life Blogger

Starting university can be a daunting prospect. Being able to have complete autonomy over your studies for the first time is exciting but the responsibility that comes with it can, quite frankly, be terrifying. Along with the enormous move into adulthood, a lot of us also make the decision to move out of our parents’ homes and live independently.

Personally, I took things a step further and chose a university in another country. This September I moved out of my cosy family home in Belgium across the channel to the cold, cold UK!

I moved into student accommodation this year, though not one owned by the University I’m studying at. I decided I wanted to live slightly further away from the centre of town and I knew definitely wanted to live in a big flat with other people.

Having these specific requirements allowed me to narrow down my choices and made choosing what accommodation to go for much easier. When it comes down to it, I know I would have made the most of whatever accommodation I ended up moving in to. There are always people with whom you will get along with and at the end of the day as long as there’s hot water I can’t really complain. That being said, I wouldn’t take choosing an accommodation lightly. You’re going to be living here for the next year so make sure you’re going to enjoy it. As estate agents always say, focus on location!

Olivia and I did a sunset hike up Arthur’s Seat a few weeks ago – I say nothing brings people together like the fear of falling off a high cliff!

Living in a nice neighbourhood can drastically change your uni experience. Personally, I didn’t want to live too close to the University and didn’t want to be surrounded by loud bars, so I chose a flat about twenty minutes away from campus on a busy commercial street free of noisy night clubs.

I think the most important thing when moving out for the first time is making your new space feel like home. I brought things from my old bedroom with me like lamps and photos to make the initial adjustment easier. Even if, at first, the idea of leaving your room sounds scary, try to get to know your flatmates in the first few weeks. You guys are going to be spending a lot of time together over the next year so try to get along. Remember that they are going through the same thing as you so have a chat when you’re feeling homesick and never be afraid to ask for help, whatever that may be. My flatmate Manuella, for instance, is always at hand to proofread my essays and Olivia is always up for a long chat over some tea.

So far, I’m absolutely loving my uni experience. I’ve joined a bunch of societies (it may seem scary at first, but I promise you won’t regret it) and I’m really enjoying my studies. I know it may seem premature but I’m already looking through the different modules that will become available to me next year and I’ve also begun to think about where I’m going to live.

I wouldn’t recommend looking for potential flatmates just yet as you’ve only known people for a few months.

Make sure you know them well enough that you would actually want to live in close quarters with them!

This post was written by one of our Uni Life Bloggers, Caitlin. Caitlin is part of a year-long study into student life, and you can follow her posts here.

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