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How to settle into halls

How to settle into halls

Moving away from home by yourself can come with lots of anxiety and possible loneliness so it is important to make new friends, talk to your family and get involved with societies and events!


No one wants to move away from home and feel unable to settle in their new place. For those who are moving into university accommodation, it is important to feel as safe, happy and comfortable as possible. As someone who has lived in accommodation for three years, I have come up with 7 top tips for how you can quickly settle and enjoy living in your new home.

  • Make your room feel homely

Accommodation at universities tend to be quite bare when moving in, with just the necessary furniture and plain walls.

Therefore, to be able to feel like it is your personal space, I would highly recommend bringing decorations such as cushions, plants, photographs, fairy lights, etc.

  • Pack properly

Being organised is super important when it comes to knowing what to pack. You don’t want to arrive to your accommodation just to find out you haven’t packed everything you need.  So whether it’s appropriate clothing, kitchen utensils or toiletries, make sure you pack properly to avoid delays in settling into your new room.  If you need a checklist, check out the ‘What to Pack’ blog.

  • Explore your surroundings

Just like when you’re on holiday, it’s always best to check out the environment around where you’re living for the next year, especially if you’re new to the area. This can help massively if you ever want to go out for a walk, go shopping or if you just want to know the location a little bit better to help you feel more at ease with where you’re staying.

  • Stay social

Moving away from home by yourself can come with lots of anxiety and possible loneliness so it is important to make new friends, talk to your family and get involved with societies and events via our amazing Students' Union!

This can help you settle in quicker as you’ll soon feel like part of the community. However, if you don’t make friends quickly or don’t get along with your flatmates, don’t worry – there’s always time to make friends in other situations at university.

Group of students smiling
  • Routines

Having a routine is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and stressful thinking which is very common at university, particularly in the first few weeks! Routines don’t have to be long - I feel it’s the sense of familiarity but within a new setting that can make you feel slightly more settled than without one. Even if it’s just doing the same three things as soon as you wake up each day to ensure you start your day off on the right foot can make a huge difference to your mental state which can overall effect how quickly/well you settle into your new home.

  • Self-Care

Although self-care is becoming more recognised, it is still easily forgotten. As a university student, it is inevitable that you will face difficult days (good ones too), so knowing how to take care of yourself after a hard day is crucial to be able to feel safe, happy and actually enjoy living independently.  It doesn’t have to include facemasks or meditation, do whatever that makes you relax.

  • If you’re struggling, TALK!

As my final point, I would just like to say that if you’re finding it hard to settle into your accommodation, feel homesick or are struggling in general, please talk to someone! Family and friends are great support systems, but sometimes not enough, the counselling service here at Buckinghamshire New University are always there for you whatever the problem or situation. If you would like to find out more, visit our Counselling page. You’re not alone.

Three faces to show different emotion - mental health

Why not listen to me and fellow BNU students discussing mental health and support that the university offer in this podcast.