Living away from home can be a very tough situation. Many of us have to move cities or even countries to come to university, and that is not an easy experience for anyone. On top of dealing with homesickness, we also have to balance study, home duties and in many cases, work. Adapting at first can be very difficult, but do not despair! Here are a few tips to help you get adjusted to your new lifestyle away from home.
Make new friends
Friends are awesome! Making new friends will allow you to cope with the homesickness feeling of being away from home. But meeting new people at uni can seem a little bit tricky sometimes. Everyone appears to be minding their own business. But it’s way easier than you think and you’d be surprised of how friendly people are once you talk to them. The first place to make friends is class. Next time you’re in a lab or tutorial, just talk to the person next to you. Even if it’s just about the subject, they will most likely be up for a chat. Another great way of meeting new people is by joining a club or society. With over 80 clubs at La Trobe, surely there’s one out there for you. You can look at the complete list of clubs in the LTSU website.
Learn to manage your money
Let’s be honest, you’re probably going to be a bit broke throughout your degree. That’s why budgeting is one of the most important skills to learn when leaving home! The easiest way to budget is to calculate your total income, and then simply calculate your expected expenses. Make sure you prioritise the money you’re spending as well. Rent, bills and groceries should come before eating at restaurants or going out. Make sure you stick to the budget as well! This is easier said than done, but you’ll thank yourself when you do it. Also, finding a part time job is a great way to increase your budget and become a little more independent. Uni has a bunch of resources to help you find jobs. You might want to take a look at CareerHub and Unitemps for jobs available in and around La Trobe campuses.
Buy groceries and learn how to cook
This can be a difficult one for many people. When I first came to uni, I barely knew how to cook anything, and it’s been a learning roller coaster ever since. But cooking is a great way to save money and stay healthy(ish) while you study! If you have no clue on how to cook, just look up some yummy recipes online and follow the instructions. Eventually you’ll get enough practice to make some dishes yourself. Just make a shopping list of the things you need and go to the shops, and then take a day from your week to meal prep. This way you have meals for several on the go, so you don’t have to cook when you’re busy. If you miss any of dishes from back home, give your mom or granny a ring and ask them for the recipe (I always do this).
Going to uni away from home is a very challenging experience at first, but you’ll adapt quicker than you think! If you feel like you’re struggling too much, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can always talk to your friends and family, I’m sure they are very willing to listen to you. You can also talk to the SDAs or use the uni’s Counselling Service, they will definitely help you out with anything you need. I hope you find these tips useful! See you in another post.