Living away from home

3 friends looking into the distance

What to expect and how to deal with it

You've probably heard a lot from family and friends about how much fun you’re going to have at University. They’re right, absolutely, but there are some things that sometimes go left unsaid in all the excitement of preparing to start a new chapter of your life. We want to reassure you that all the below are normal and that we understand that socialising and studying whilst adjusting to being away from home can sometimes be a bit much.

Homesickness

No matter how much you’re looking forward to moving into halls, it's completely normal to feel homesick at least once whilst at University. The combination of a new place and new people can get overwhelming and you may have moments where you long for familiarity, particularly home cooked food and free laundry!

Be reassured that this will pass as you settle into your new home and become closer friends with the people you meet. Look at your Residence Life programme and take every opportunity you can to meet new people and try new things, and you'll find that time helps - before you know it, you won’t want to leave.

Financial worries

The diversity of the student population means people have very different experiences when it comes to managing finances. You may receive a student loan, which is super exciting at first, but you really need to think about how you’re going to manage it over the term.

You’ll want to socialise lots to make friends, which is great, but think early on about how you’re going to afford this. Look for part-time jobs nearby (have a look at the Student Jobshop in the Student’s Union) and learn how to budget with the help of the Money Matters drop-in sessions that Residence Life will advertise. 

See www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/finance/application for further information about finance if you think you need a bit more help.

Pressure

Whether it’s from others or yourself, there may be lots of times that you feel pressured: you may have high academic expectations, you may be experiencing stress, or you may feel that you're expected to embrace a culture you are uncomfortable with, such as one that glorifies binge-drinking or involves taking drugs.

Whatever the situation, remember that you're not alone and seek appropriate advice and support. If you're struggling with any of the above or other issues, make sure you use coping mechanisms that are safe and healthy. Your university experience is individual and it is up to you what you make of it, so work out where you stand on important issues and focus on your own opinion of yourself - in the end, that’s all that matters.

Remember to speak about any issues with your Residence Life Mentor. Your Residence Life Mentor will attempt to visit you throughout the year and can also be contacted via Customer Services in the evenings, or by visiting the Drop-in sessions every evening during term-time.

Most importantly, remember to embrace the experience throughout, and enjoy the ride!

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