I moved away from home 3 years ago (aged 17) and I’ve had some people now asking me what it is like and looking for some advice so thought I would write a post as I ended up loving moving out.
Make it homely! Especially if you’re in student halls, everyone’s room looks the same so it is good to give it a proper personal touch. Some places do not allow candles (they’re good for show anyway) so you could get a lil salt lamp (read my post about salt lamps here. We got everything matching in the first year and went sooo overboard. Can you move out though and not spend a day/ fortune in Ikea? I find Home Bargains, Ikea, Primark, Urban Outfitters, Amazon are great to kit you out. Most letting agencies do not allow you to put nails through the walls, but some halls have pin boards- so organise some polaroids of your favourite things and even some study notes.
Get all the paperwork out the way before you go! Tv license, council tax, electricity, home insurance, wifi etc… In halls, all of this is pretty much ticked off the list for you. If you are in a private let though, it is important to get it out the way sooner rather than later. As a student, there will be a lot of exemptions/ reductions so you do not want to pay more than you need to. (You may need your matriculation number but even proof of acceptance can work).
Transport! I knew straight away I was never going to bring my car to Edinburgh as it would be more hassle than it is worth. Even if you do have parking available, have a look to see if it will be practical commuting with a car or if there are easier options. I cycled everywhere in my second year in Edinburgh. I barely cycled in the first year and I remember when we moved from one flat to the other I even walked with it cause I was too nervous hahaha. Once I got over that initial fear of city driving it was fab- I saved money, a lot of time and got fitter! So, take time to look at different options- even a plan B and C for rainy days and give yourself plenty of time. You will probably find people in the same building trying to get to the same place as you.
Take time to wonder… Edinburgh is a lovely city. From a living perspective, it is important to take a walk around the surrounding areas and really get your bearings. Find cute cafes you like or shortcuts to the train station. After 3 years I am still finding hidden places that we have run out of time to visit. I always made an effort to make at least 1 day a week to visit a new place in the city or surrounding area. You really do need to make the most of it and not put it off. Before you know it, you will be graduated!
Phone home if you need to! You can be very content moving out but still feel homesick every so often. I text my parents throughout the day to keep them updated to tell them very minor things and to check up on everyone and everything at home (more often than not to get updated pictures of the dogs…). It is important to find that balance so you do not get homesick.
Get your stationary kitted out! Get organised before you start your course as it will make it easier when the workload begins to pile up.
Icebreakers! If you are moving in with people. Remember, everyone else is in the exact same boat as you so will probably be just as nervous, if not more. Be open about what you like and there is absolutely no point in being anything but yourself because you are gonna be living with these people for a year!
Plan to budget! This ends up stressing people out and it is shame when people need to miss out on things. Read separate post on how to help balance your dolla here.
For me, moving out really topped the experience of going on to study. 100% fending for yourself to cook/ clean/ shop/ general adulting is great to become independent. Of course, there are sooo much more to studies (social aspect/ the actual studying part) but feeling settled in where you live is the best place to start!
Thanks for reading,