Tips for settling in to student accommodation

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Starting a new adventure as a student and moving into a student residence comes with its own challenges.

“University and student residences are places to create lasting memories, make lifelong friendships, establish networks and embrace the first step towards becoming an adult,” says Respublica Student Living spokesperson and CEO, Craig McMurray.

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“While most universities and tertiary institutions offer some form of on or off-campus residence facilities, many students kick off their residence experience with little or no idea of what to expect.”

McMurray says tertiary education really is a university of life as much as it is a place of learning.

“Residence programmes that focus on this help students make a seamless transition to the many new experiences they are faced with,” says McMurray.

“Choosing to stay in a formally structured, purpose-built student accommodation facility is about much more than ensuring you have a roof over your head, regular meals and convenient access to campus.”

McMurray says student accommodation should offer a lifestyle with the opportunity for self-discovery, learning and a balance between studies and an active student life.

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In preparation for the 2017 academic year, Respublica offers a few handy tips to assist students with settling into their new lives:

– First and foremost, students must remember they are there to pass their studies – and this should always be their main priority.

“During their first year, students will learn how to balance their studying with everything that university and residence life offers,” says McMurray.

– Students should be enthusiastic about, and participate in, events.

“It is an easy way to make friends and create memories that will last well into their adulthood.”

– Students can use the stairs for exercise – especially if they do not have time to hit the gym.

“A healthy body equals a healthy mind and it is the perfect way to beat the dreaded first-year,” says McMurray.

“Many student accommodation options offer on-site gyms so there is no excuse for not keeping fit and healthy.”

– Students should put their names on their clothes when using the communal laundry.

– Students should set a budget each week for food, social activities and transport as this will help keep track of spending.

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– Use a lanyard or large key ring for room keys so they are not easily lost.

– Learn to cook at least three decent easy meals before you leave home.

– Students should study in the library or study centre if they are easily distracted.

“Student accommodation should include a variety of spaces, amenities and activities that will provide students with a well-rounded university experience,” says McMurray.

“Provision should also be made for public spaces so students can study on their own, in small groups, or in larger collaborative gatherings.”

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Kayla van Petegem

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