Moving away to study

Moving away to study is a huge change, and a big decision to make. Whether you're living in a share house, or staying on-campus, you'll have to adjust, which can stress you out. There are ways of making this part easier, and turning your new place into a home.

This could be for you if:

  • You're not sure where/whether to go to uni
  • You want to know what to expect leaving home
  • You're worried about missing your old friends once you leave
  • You're having trouble adjusting to living out of home
  • You want to know how to make moving to uni easier
student carrying text books around campus

Leaving home

Moving away to study in a different town or city is a huge change, and it's a massive decision to have to make. Whatever your parents, teachers, friends or family think you should do, it's your decision. A couple of things to think about when you're making it are:

  • What will you gain/lose by moving away to study? Write down a list of the good and bad points if you want.
  • Getting good advice. Talk to people whose opinions you trust about what they think you should do.
  • Take your time, and make a decision you'll be happy with – after all, it's you who's going to be living with the choice.
  • Remember it's reversible. There are options if your new place doesn't work out, and uni isn't the only way you can go.

Studying away from home

For a lot of people, going to study is the first time they've lived out of home. It's pretty usual to be scared, homesick or lonely at first. If you find things to do that make you happy, and meet new people to hang out with, it'll get easier.

Living at uni

A lot of people live on-campus when they first go to uni. This can be loads of fun, but it takes a bit of adjusting to as well. You might be stressed about things like:

  • Not having your old friends around
  • Being in a new place
  • Having trouble making new friends
  • Having to do all this study
  • Having low energy from too many O-week activities
  • Pressure to drink, smoke and party a lot
  • People hassling you to make themselves feel better (find out how to stop bullies).

Making it easier

There are ways to make the move away easier. Try these out:

  • Give it time. Your life at your old home was built over years. Don't expect this one to come together in the first week.
  • Keep in touch with old friends. If they've moved away to a different uni, you can talk to them about what it's like.
  • Plan ahead. Having something to look forward to can get you through a short-term rough patch.
  • Do what you like. There are people who are just as into sport/music/role-playing/art/tiddlywinks as you are. You can make friends and do something you love at the same time.
  • Meet people at O-Week. We know it's a hectic seven days, but if you take part in at least some of the activities, you can get a head-start on meeting people.
  • Own your space. Stick up posters, photos and pictures you like to make your new place yours. Play music that you used to blast at home. It'll help you feel like you belong here.
  • Talk to an ally. A friend, family member, teacher, doctor or counsellor can help you get perspective on how you're feeling.

What can I do now?

  • Visit the campuses you’re thinking of going to and see if you like the vibe.
  • Get tips on how to make new friends.
  • Find out what’s going on in the local area that you could get involved in.
Last reviewed: 24 August, 2015
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