Becoming a student is such a huge step, and an amazing one, too! The next coming year(s) are going to be some of the most important and also the best years of your life. This is where you find yourself, meet incredible new people and make a path for your future. Although it seems scary now, I can assure you, the best is yet to come!
This post is made in memory of my own first year experience as a student: My first year of university, I moved in with my boyfriend at the time, his mum and her partner in a small and cold two bedroom house, and everything we owned was in one room. This room was our bedroom, living room and dining room, and I felt like we could never escape.
My second year of uni, we moved into a private student house with 5 of our friends, and I totally wish I had a mood-boosting guide back then.
I was obsessed with having a clean, cosy space, especially after living in one dark, cold and damp room for a whole year. I was determined to give myself the space I deserved, but I had no idea where to start. This gave me some inspiration to create a handy little top 5 for anyone who may be in the same position, or even a similar one. Maintaining good mental health is so important, especially as a student.
1.New Duvet Sets
Your bed is your safe space as well as being the main aspect of your room. It’s super important that you make this space your own, and fresh bed sheets are a must have for your first place. Take off those old sheets from your parents house that you haven’t washed in about 5 months, and get yourself something that matches your new lifestyle!
Primark is my go-to for duvet sets: they start from about £10, are always on trend and have the best designs, colours and patterns.
You don’t want anything too vibrant or too busy- something calming and cosy like a light yellows, greys, or blues.
Below duvet set is from Amazon for £14, and can be found here.
2. A Sunrise Alarm Clock
Getting up early is tough enough, especially when you have a screaming phone with the same tune to wake you up. I was introduced to a ‘Sunrise Clock’ a year or so after university, and I so wish I had one of these to wake me up every morning.
A Sunrise Alarm Clock wakes you up gently every morning by introducing a ‘natural’ slow glow over a 30 minute period, encouraging you to wake up more naturally. This still has an alarm tone feature to actually wake you up, however the idea is to introduce a better nights sleep without being immediately woken up.
These clocks start at about £15 and go up in price depending on the brand. The best I have found is on Amazon which can be found here.
3. Framed Photos
It’s important to surround yourself with familiarities, especially if you are prone to home sickness. When I moved into my first student home, I was only 25 miles away from my parents and an hour on the bus, yet I missed them like crazy. So, for anyone who is moving far away, having photos of your friends and family back home is a super comforting touch to your new space, and keeps your new room feeling cosy and safe.
4. Low Maintenance Indoor Plants
Studies have proven that having certain types of plants in your room can help boost mood and reduce stress, anxiety and depression and even aid a good night’s sleep. Plants also naturally reduce carbon dioxide levels, control airborne dust and regulate temperatures, which is an added bonus!
Some of the best plants include:
Spider Plant: NASA tests showed this plant to remove around 90% of the potentially cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air. Similar to other plants, this emits oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide, leaving you with a cleaner air-space and helping aid a restful sleep.
Aloe Vera: Improves air quality, useful in first aid.
Lavender: Naturally used to help with sleep, reduce anxiety and relieve stress.
Gardenia: Said to be better than Valium in the sense of helping you get a full and restful nights sleep.
5. Door Stop/Wedge
This one is entirely up to how you feel about interacting with your new house mates, however, it’s always a welcome feeling knowing that they are welcome to come in a chat with you. Nothing says hostility like hiding in your room with the door closed, but having the option to pop a head in and even just say a quick hello or goodbye is a very friendly gesture, and allows you to feel more comfortable with your new housemates. It is also a small but mighty step for anyone who may suffer with social anxiety. An open door policy is welcoming, friendly and reassuring 🙂
I hope this helps give you some stepping stones into your new pad, and best of luck for your prosperous future! 🙂