So, you’ve managed to survive the whole year away from home. Although there were tears, tantrums and moments of homesickness, all in all your first year at university was great. And, despite your initial feelings of trepidation over launching a new life in an unknown place, you have tasted independence and loved it!
With most having spent their first year in student accommodation – usually in halls or shared flats provided for students by the university – it is exciting to think about year two, when you finally have the freedom to choose where you want to live and with whom.
This means no more having to put up with chaotic flatmates, filthy bathrooms and loud arguments, and, as opposed to sharing a living space with five people you don’t know, or don’t get on with, you now have the option to search for a place in the part of town you want to stay in and with the people you want to live with.
University is one time in your life where you really get to discover who you are and what your likes and dislikes are. Aside from learning a profession, it gives you a sense of what to expect in the real world and lets you fend for yourself without someone there to do your washing and place hot meals in front of you every day.
Moving into your first real home away from home is, therefore, a big deal. Your parents no longer have the authority to dictate whether your room is messy or not and you, perhaps for the first time, have the option to decorate as you see fit.
Most relish the time when they go out to buy their own essentials. Indeed, purchasing that first set of saucepans or a piece of new furniture is symbolic and serves to represent your new found freedom and the start of a new chapter in your life. No longer do you have to use someone else’s saucepan to boil your pasta – you now have your own!
Looking the part is, of course, equally important when going back to university. All of your belongings act as a representation of your character and clothes are no exception. And, who can forget about all those cool gadgets, like audio systems and televisions that are absolute ‘essentials’. Turning up at university with the latest MP3 player or having friends around to your new abode – especially when Champions League is on – is a sure-fire way to build your popularity, especially if you just happen to own the largest flat screen television in your class!
Although the first year of university can be an intimidating time, by the time you reach the second year, not only are you experienced in living away from home, but going back to university can actually be very exciting, not least because you finally get to live in your own, chosen space.