Nerves. Excitement. Trepidation. Just some of the emotions you might be experiencing as you anticipate your move away from home to university.
It’s the experience of a lifetime for many of us and there are loads of things to look forward to, from independence to unforgettable nights out. But that doesn’t stop homesickness from setting in every now and again.
Here, we have the ultimate guide to making your halls of residence a proper home when you move out for university.
Make it smell like home
Smells are often strongly linked to our memories. Have you ever smelt a drink or a perfume that instantly takes you back to a very specific memory? You can use that to your advantage and use smell to remind yourself of home.
Whether your parents enjoy creating a sweet-smelling ambience with candles or they’ve got a favourite fragrance plugin, stock up on that exact item to make your bedroom smell like home. Coming home to a dorm room that smells like your family home is a great way to ease homesickness.
There are also specific scents that can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety that might be caused by living away from home. Lavender is proven to be calming, so having a few sprigs in your room or using a lavender pillow spray can ease anxiety.
Learn your family’s trademark recipes
There’s no doubt that one of the best things about living at home is a good home-cooked meal by a member of your family. They can provide comfort and remind us of happy times – plus there’s the added bonus of being cooked for.
Food is a great way to comfort yourself and remind yourself of your home. Get your parents, siblings, or grandparents to teach you your absolute favourite recipes and make a habit of cooking them in your accommodation for a taste of home.
Food has the added benefit of smelling like home too – so cooking your trademark family recipes in your halls can provide you with comfort in more ways than one!
Make it look like your home bedroom
Rooms in university accommodation can sometimes feel a bit soulless. Chances are, your bedroom is neutral coloured and really basic in its facilities. This is your opportunity to put a non-permanent stamp on it. Got a wall filled with photos of you and your loved ones? Take them off to university.
One of the best ways you can make your bedroom feel like the one you’ve lived in for who knows how long is by bringing some of your favourite furniture. Your dorm room will have a bed, and most likely a desk and chair. But if you have a gaming chair that’s moulded perfectly to you, bring that with you. The same goes if you have a bean bag chair that you sink into when you need some relaxation.
You don’t want to do anything that might damage your surroundings, so decorating might require some creativity. Why not make a photo wall using bunting string and pegs to attach all of your favourite photos? Use any existing hooks and nails to hang up photos, calendars, and anything else light that you want front and centre in your room.
Brighten up your room with greenery
You don’t have to be green-fingered in your home life to reap the benefits of mood-boosting plants. Whether you choose artificial greenery because you don’t want the hassle of caring for the real deal or you want to try your hand at growing an indoor garden, greens are the way forward.
Real plants release oxygen into the air, which can improve our physical health. They also boost our mental well-being by reducing feelings of stress and improving our moods. While real plants are the best option, even fake plants have been shown to have some of these benefits.
Moving away from home is exciting but it can also be stressful, especially when you’re doing it for the first time. You want to be able to enjoy the experience and achieve your qualification, whether it’s a business management degree or sports science. By making your university accommodation homely through scents, sights, and shrubbery, you can ease some of those woes and make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.