Moving to Uni Chronic Illness Style

31 August 2014

Moving away from home and trying to pack is scary and hard enough without having to factor in a crappy body as well. I was terrified for like the whole month before moving in day. It didn't help that I was a shy person anyway (still am) but knowing I would have to pretty much look after myself all whilst my body had a temper tantrum about over doing did not sound that enticing.

Now I will say you probably will over do it in Freshers week. No matter how much you try not to it's kind of inevitable. It's a big shock for your body and there is a lot to do. I'm going into my 4th time at moving in and I still haven't managed to do it without over doing it & I don't even have to do all the administration stuff 1st yrs have to do. Out of the 3 Freshers weeks I have done so far I have only managed one without getting ill, mainly tonsillitis. I'm pretty sure my tonsils prepare themselves to only make my life hell when I'm supposed to be having fun - Freshers week and New years eve. 

Anyways moving on, I thought I would give you a few pointers and let you know what it will be like to try and reduce any extra stress. 

- In my uni our halls move in over 2 days, the Saturday & the Sunday. This is the hardest weekend of the whole of uni so prepare yourself. I still live in halls and I am now allowed to move in on the Friday to give me an extra day to pace myself. If that's something you think would help you could email your halls department & explain but I understand that moving somewhere new on your own is scary. 

- Pace your packing. Packing is a killer task. You have to pack you whole life into one room. I think the first year I started packing about a month before moving (I get to keep my kitchen stuff there now so not as much to do). My house was just full of boxes and crates. It did help though as whatever I bought new I just packed straight away. 

- Moving in day is a long day. I would suggest getting there as early as you can because cupboard space goes quickly, there are never enough cupboards. Although once you get to know each other you usually start sharing space. Plus getting there early gives you longer to unpack & get to know everyone before people start going out. On my first night our peer guides got us to go out at 6pm to meet the people on our courses.

- If you have a long drive maybe stay somewhere closer the night before so you don't have to get up as early and spend as long in the car on a busy day. In my first year we stayed 20mins down the road to make it easier on my body as I live over 3hrs away.

- Take slaves (siblings are good). I'm so lucky that my parents are amazing and they come with me every year to help me unpack. I tend to just sit on the bed and point where I want things now,  it's great. 

- Pace unpacking. Unpacking seems to take me longer every year. One year I think it was nearly Christmas when I finally unpacked my last bag. Just do a bit everyday plus bags make great storage so technically you don't need to unpack. 

- Make your bed first. This way if you crash you have somewhere to rest

- Take food with you. Everyone will descend on the supermarkets on moving in day and I mean everyone. Obviously it's great if your parents offer to buy your first shop so do not turn them down. It is worth braving the crowd but make sure you have the essentials with you in case you cant hack it. I now take the essentials with me & do my shop a few days later. By essentials I mean coffee obvs, tea, sugar, milk, pasta (student staple), few tins, bread, peanut butter (I cant cope without) and obviously alcohol if you drink. I took wine and any left over spirits we had and made loads of new friends. Also take food to eat on the go because it's going to be a long day

- Have some of the essentials to hand like mugs, tea, coffee so you don't have to unpack everything before having a cuppa. If you move into my flat I have extra on hand for grumpy dads and flustered mums. Offering people a cuppa is always a great conversation starter. I mean everyone loves a good cuppa

- Now the most important part - I know you are exhausted and probably in a lot of pain and just want to curl up in bed but you have to get yourself out there and meet your new flatmates. These will be the people who you will see the most (except that one weird person that your not sure if they died or not as they never seem to come out their room). Prop open your door, bond over the ridiculous amount of crap you have to unpack, how awkward your parents are being and how nervous you are. I bonded with one of my best friends over how many tins we had courtesy of our parents (didn't want us to starve) and another one over the fact that we had no idea how to set up our internet so my dad went & found out & did it for us, cheers dad. 

There is a huge thing about how in Freshers week you have to go out every night and get smashed but I have never done that. Now don't get me wrong I love a good party and I have more than my fair share of drunken stories and I do get drunk but I'm just not one of these clubbing people. It's a lot of effort when you could have a flat party in your slippers with your bed nearby. 

- I would say do try to go out once, just to get to see whats about. My first night out I was back home by half 10 because I was just too exhausted but I still had fun. I preferred going out with my new flat mates because we all really got on and we had an amazing time & we weren't with complete strangers. 

- Don't feel like you have to drink. Don't make yourself ill just to try and fit in. Alcohol doesn't mix well at all with some chronic illnesses and meds. There may be a few people who make a joke but for the most part no one cares. More alcohol for them. Plus you get to be the person to tell everyone the stupid things they did and waking up without a hangover. 


If you have any questions or worries or you just want someone to let you know it will all be okay leave a comment or you can email me at mermaidindisguise@outlook.com

Beth...x

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