I am an international student and when I decided to come to the UK to start University I chose to stay in Halls. That is because I did not want to miss out on the social aspect of University. This was my first experience living by myself and of having roommates since I had always stayed with my family before University.
While independence and living away from home and from your parents may sound cool there are a few things that will definitely take some getting used to in the beginning:
Cooking for yourself
The biggest hurdle for me was having to cook my own meals. Especially since my mum had always cooked for me while I was at home and I never really had the need to cook too much. Learning how to cook simple meals is an unavoidable step if you don’t want to spend all your money in eating out. Even worse, you may end up like “that one flatmate” which has been living off of pot noodles and frozen chips for a year (yes! it’s full of those people and I have met them).
Doing your laundry
The harsh reality will kick in when you realise you have to do your laundry if you don’t want to be walking around commando all the time (it sounds nasty doesn’t it?). You will quickly get the hang of it, mayber after turning a couple of your favourite t-shirts pink (it happens to the best of us). Laundry day will still be the most dreaded day of the week for any student.
This can be tougher on some people than on others. Living away from your home, especially family and friends can take a toll on you after a while. Luckily we have at our disposal a lot of different tools and technologies that can help us feel a bit closer to the people we hold dear (Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp and many others).
If you decide to go university you will most likely stay in student accommodations. On one side they are great for making friends, having parties and your overall social life. Unfortunately things can go bad pretty quick and conflicts can arise easily. From sinks filled with dishes to filthy shared bathrooms, the nightmares can be endless. The key is to establish some ground rules. Also remember that student halls are also a place of fun and it may be unreasonable to expect a spotless kitchen 24/4..
The bottom line
Despite all these drawback I listed, living away from home is a great experience. It will definitely enrich you and (hopefully) make you grow into a responsible and mature human being. It is a mandatory step towards the very much dreaded “adulthood”. We all have to go through at some point (although it seems like some people never get there).
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Have a read at THIS article from Need To Live. It goes over the important things to pack when you move into student halls!
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