Starting university and moving into halls of residence is a very exciting experience! It can, however, be quite stressful if you arrive unprepared. I have had my fair share of moving in and out of university halls (three times in total!), made mistakes and (hopefully!) learnt from them. So, in order to help you have the best possible move-in experience, I´m going to share with you my top tips for moving into university halls!
1. Arrive early and say goodbye
It's a good idea to arrive early on move-in-day. If you have come with your parents, let them help you move in your things into your room and get settled. But then I´d recommend saying goodbye to them as soon as possible (for now, of course you can meet them again later if they´re staying in town). This may sound harsh, but it´s a lot easier for you to meet and chat with your fellow flatmates if your parents have left - you are far more approachable when you are on your own. From my experience, it is often a lot more awkward to go up and speak to someone new if their parents are still around…
Arriving early will give you some time to unpack and explore the flat, maybe even before some of the other people arrive. As bad as this may sound, take the opportunity to bagsy a good cupboard etc. in the kitchen or space in the bathroom before the others arrive! Trust me, you won´t regret it (especially if you end up in the unfortunate position of not getting on too well with your flatmates).
2. Pack "lightly" and label your boxes!
By packing “lightly”, I don't necessarily mean to bring fewer things (although that's also a good tip), but to pack in a way that allows you to actually still lift or carry the suitcases/boxes/bags. Carrying heavy boxes up 4 flights of stairs is no fun! So, only pack in as much as you can carry - It´s better to make a few extra trips with lighter boxes than struggling with a few heavy ones!
Also, this may seem obvious, but I definitely made this mistake when first moving into halls. It's very helpful to pack “strategically” and label your boxes. Keeping everything for the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom separate will make unpacking a lot quicker and easier.
3. Check what Halls provide and share with flatmates
Before you arrive, you should check what halls provide (e.g. desk lamps, paper bin, iron, etc.). before you start bringing or buying things.
It's also a good idea to wait until after you have moved in to buy some kitchen items. See what other people bring first, and perhaps you can agree with your flatmates to share some items or to buy things together for communal use. Because there is definitely not enough space for 3 coffee machines, 4 toastie makers and 5 colanders in a student kitchen in halls!
4. Make your bed as soon as you arrive
Whilst it's a good idea to unpack as soon as possible (as soon as Fresher's week kicks off you'll be too busy doing other things), that might not necessarily be achievable. You might be immediately roped into activities, conversations and exploring the area with your new flatmates - and that should definitely take priority!
However, you don't want to come home at night to a huge mess, stuff everywhere and no idea where your duvet or pyjamas are! Hence, my advice would be, that the first thing you do when you arrive in halls is make your bed. That way, even if you don't manage to unpack anything else, at least you can come home at night and go to bed! So, remember to keep your bedding and sheets handy when packing!
5. A few important things to remember to bring
My last tip for moving into university halls is a reminder of some of the things you may not think of bringing! For one, don´t forget to pack some toilet roll and hand soap! There is nothing more annoying than arriving after a long journey, bursting for the loo and there is no toilet roll, haha!
Also, I'd recommend bringing some cleaning materials as you may want to give the bathroom or parts of your room a bit of a clean first before you unpack and you may want to bring a small toolbox (for assembling any furniture or if you need to fix something). Another good idea is to bring a doorstop so that you can prop your door open and see others arriving, some blue tac to hang up pictures on the wall and if you are coming from abroad, don´t forget to bring an adapter so that you can charge your devices once you arrive!
I hope you find these tips useful and they help make your move-in-day experience a lot easier! Good luck everyone and enjoy your time here at the University of Aberdeen!
Not sure yet what halls in Aberdeen to choose? Check out this Guide to Student Accommodation in Aberdeen here: https://theunicook.com/a-guide-to-student-accommodation-in-aberdeen/