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How to Make it Your Space

So you may be moving in tomorrow, or later in the week, but you really will be at Loughborough then! Are you excited? I definitely was, and it felt so good to know I was moving into the halls and could then start freshers week, but when faced with my room I felt a little deflated. Blank white walls, pale wood furniture, I was excited to move in, but the room didn’t feel mine.

So how do you make it feel a little more like home (and less plain and boring)? Here’s some ideas!

Bed Sheets

Bed Sheets

You’ve probably already got these, and bright red was my colour of choice, to liven up the room, though patterns or warm colours can help bring aspects of home, or just make the white walls not look as cold.
You will probably spend quite a bit of time in your room over the next year, and most people end up using their beds as impromptu seating, so you can also add some more homey touches with cushions and pillows.

Fairy Lights

Fairy lights

These are not just Christmas decorations when you live away from home. Halls can have harsh lighting, so fairy lights can give off softer, coloured light, perfect for trying to get to sleep or mood lighting.

Photo Wall

Posters and Photos

They can cover vast amounts of bare walls, and make a statement about who you are, perfect! You may not have thought about these, but that’s no worry, because poster sales are a uni speciality. Give it a couple weeks and one will pop up in the Union with a large selection (and they’re all quite cheap!). Photos can be reminders of home, or memories of your first year at uni, and with lots of photo developing companies offering free snaps, such as Snapfish, you can plaster them all over your room relatively cheaply!

DVDs

Books and DVDs

Now in the age of Kindles and Netflix, you may not have any, but it always worth having a few favourite movies on a shelf for movie nights with your flatmates, or a good couple of books for any sleepless (non-uni work filled) nights. You never know you may find you have interests in common with your flatmates though your movie and book choices!

You may have other things that help your room feel more homey, but I hope these can be a starting point when you’re faced with a room that’s a blank canvas to make your own.

What do I Pack?

It’s been over a week since you found out you got into university and now the realisation of it all is settling in, which brings you to the the hurdle of packing.

You WILL become a pro at packing up your life into boxes and bags by the time you finish uni, but this is the first time you may have had to do this, and its kind of important. You want to make sure you don’t forget anything, or pack too much and have it take all day to carry across campus. You may not be entirely sure what you need, or what to pack in and you may not be sure what is crucial to take, and what you can live without now you’re a student. It’s okay, we have answers.

This post is not about a full list of what to pack, there are plenty of those around, and I recommend this one from The Student Room for being quite thorough. This post is for the other things, you know, the really useful, but definitely not the top of the list things. So here are some things that I found exceedingly useful, or that I wish I had thought of before coming to university.

A Doorstop

This is for once you’ve just moved in. You’re unpacking your things, and you sit down wondering who else you’re living with for the next nine months. Prop open your door and find out! It makes it easier to meet people, as they can see you’re in,  and it makes it easier for chats down the corridor.
One thing to remember though, your door will need to be closed if there’s a fire (or fire drill) so make sure you don’t leave it propped open if you’re not in, and close it on your way out.

A Onesie

The perfect lounging around clothes, and quick to put on in a fire drill! What more could you want? Oh yeah, they can also double as a fancy dress costume too! So head down to Primark and pick one up! They have Minion ones at the moment, which would be a very simple, awesome fancy dress!

Extension Lead(s)

Halls can vary, with some having lots of sockets, to others only having one pair, which will never be enough to charge all of the devices you have at once, plus your friend’s phone that’s just died, so it’s always a good idea to take a lead with you. A four-plug one should suffice, but remember that it may be best to plug hair dryers or straighteners in alone, as they are more power hungry than your other electronics.

Post-it Notes

Studying may be the last thing on your mind whilst packing, with student life taking the front seat, but at some point you will need to *deep breath* revise, and halls walls are perfect for sticking these too.
They also make passive-aggressive notes to flatmates easier to deliver, by being easily attachable to doors and fridges (though we recommend you talk with them first before accusing them of stealing your milk!).

A Freshers Flu Pack

This one may sound a little mumsy, but it’s from several years of experience. You will not  want to be making the journey into town to pick stuff up when you’re feeling like death warmed up, and you may not be able to ask flatmates as they will probably be suffering too.
You’re probably going to need the following:
Cold and flu tablets
Cough mixture
Painkillers (most likely paracetamol and ibuprofen)
And tissues (though loo roll will do)

The best way to survive freshers flu though is by preventing it as much as possible in the first place. Making sure you’re eating a vaguely balanced diet will help the most, so check out our post next week, for some food and student cooking advice.

A Sleeping Bag

This is definitely a SCOGUI based one, as we have our first camp within the first term, and although we have sleeping bags and roll mats you can borrow, its much nicer to sleep in your own.
They can also be very useful if the heating breaks, or for the times when one duvet just isn’t enough (there’s a possibility I’m cold-blooded), so even if you don’t join SCOGUI having one around can be helpful.

If the you’ve found this useful, get sharing! If you want to know more about what SCOGUI do, check out the rest of the website, and if you think we’ve missed something out, get in touch with us through Facebook or Twitter, we’d love to hear from you!

KJ
SCOGUI Publicity Officer 2015

You’ve got into Loughborough, Now What?

So you’ve got your results, and you got into Loughborough … Firstly, congratulations! I’m going to assume your exams went well if you got in, and this is the uni you wanted to go to (if not, why not? Loughborough is awesome!), but what to do next?

So the campus is quite big, don't worry, you'll find your way round soon enough!

Step One. Be excited!

You’ve successfully completed your A-Levels, and that is cause for celebration, but getting into university is the next big step in life. You’ll get to move out, live on your own, try new things, meet new people, and study (don’t forget that bit!) a subject in more depth than you ever have before. Which leads me on to…

Step Two. Don’t panic.

Wiser words were never said (except maybe “always know where your towel is”), and moving out is nothing to panic about. In fact it’s quite fun.
Think of it this way, you’ve gone away from home before, and although you’ve probably not been on a camp three months long, you can live away from home till Christmas. And moving out gives you more freedom than ever. You can do things you couldn’t at home, like mattress surfing down the stairs (I wouldn’t recommend this though, carpet burn is not fun); stay up till three in the morning, just because it’s Tuesday; or even have a BBQ in January, because burgers don’t taste right otherwise! So stay calm, you’re going to love moving out.

Step Three. Read all of the information the university sends you, and take time to fill in all of the necessary forms.

This step is a little more mundane, but crucial. You’ll have all sorts of stuff come through the post in the next few weeks, from student registration forms, to halls deposits, to the Students Union Freshers information pack (that one is probably the most exciting of the bunch), and each will need reading and responding to in some form or fashion.
None of this is too difficult, but get it done as soon as you can, so you’ll be all ready when you actually get here. Let the university know your contact details, let halls know if you have any dietary requirements, and let the medical centre access your history so that you don’t have to worry if you need to see a doctor during term time.

Step Four. Get packing.

There’s about six weeks between now and you arriving on campus, and it can take that long to put everything you think you’ll need together. You will forget things, but don’t worry about that. Loughborough town centre can be very handy for shopping and the Wilkinson’s here stocks almost everything you’ll need anyway.
Next week I’ll be putting together a list of things that are super useful to have, but may not have been on your packing list, so come back and check it out!

Let's hope it all fits!

Step Five. Move to Loughborough.

Pack all of the stuff up in the car, and set off for university. Simple.
Just don’t forget that you’ll need to carry all of your stuff into halls from the car, so grab a few kit bags and rucksacks, because handles make everything easier to lift!

Phew! Not a lot to do at all then! If you want to know more about SCOGUI, then browse through the rest of the website. If you have any questions about student life, courses, halls, or anything about Loughborough, post a comment or get in touch on our Facebook page, or Twitter feed, there will be someone to give you an answer, as we’ve all been through this before!

KJ
SCOGUI Publicity Officer 2015