Homesickness is a universal phenomenon for anyone who’s moving away from home.
It’s only natural to miss elements of a familiar living environment, but especially so when you’re experiencing so many new changes at once, like when you start a postgraduate course. In this article, we offer some suggestions on how to add some personal touches to your student accommodation, to make it feel just a little more like home.
Designate areas for work and play
Student accommodation spaces typically tend to be a little smaller than if you were living at home. This could be because you are renting a room in a shared flat with friends, or maybe you’re occupying you’re a single room in student halls of residence. Either way you need to get creative about how to use the limited space that you have in the most effective way. One tip is to designate specific areas of your living space for work and for rest. You could make your sleeping area cosier with fairy lights and comfortable bedding, while keeping your study area bright and tidy to help ease you into focused revision mode. The division of spaces provides a physical reminder of different living spaces for rest and play that you may have had at home.
One easy way to feel more at home in your student accommodation is to rearrange the furniture to your liking. You may not expect it but moving a bookshelf or a painting from one corner of a room to a spot that you prefer can be surprisingly satisfying. It also gives you a sense of ownership over your living space and can help you feel more at ease in your new living space. After all, it is a treat to come home after a long day of graduate school to a house that is designed just the way you like it. It is important to get the green light from your accommodation provider or landlord on whether they are okay with you shifting things around.
Make your living space look like home
One of the best ways to make yourself feel at home in your student accommodation is to make your space like your actual home, by decorating it with items from home. For example, you can hang photos of friends and family, bring your favourite bedding, soft toys and books from home to make your student accommodation feel more familiar. One other tip would be to get a notice board and pin up notes, photos and other memorabilia from loved ones on. Then, whenever you feel a tinge of homesickness , you have a visual reminder of how much you’re loved and remembered to look at.
Add plants for a splash of personality and calm
There is something about adding plants to your living space that is calming. Whether you decide to pick up a cactus or an orchid, having plants definitely adds a pop of colour and interest to your living space, making your student flat or halls more welcoming and brighter. Besides helping to refresh the air in your room, caring for a plant is a fun task that can help you look forward to coming home after a long day of school, because you know there is another “living being” that needs your support. Watching a plant grow over time, as you journey on in your time as a postgraduate student can also be very fulfilling, while being easy enough to manage despite a hectic schedule.
Clean your space
It’s important to dedicate time to keep your living space clean, whether it’s giving your room a good old wipe down or if it's rearranging furniture because your routine has changed, keeping your space liveable and comfortable is very important to ensure that you truly feel grounded and secure in your student accommodation. A bonus tip, if your room is feeling a bit stuffy, invest in a scented candle that you can light when you’re having guests over, when you’re stressed out about work, or even to help you unwind before bedtime.
Overall, finding a comfortable student accommodation when you are pursuing a postgraduate course can be a daunting prospect. There are so many options out there and it can be hard to figure out which option will suit your needs and most importantly, help you feel the most at home. One reliable accommodation provider is Fresh. With a 93% approval rating, you know that you’re in good hands if you choose to stay at one of Fresh’s many residences. On top of that, Fresh provides a holistic ‘Wellbeing programme’ for their residents, so they can easily access mental health support and also build a community during your time at the residence. These features will all help you ease into student life and make you feel more at home, even if you’re physically far away from what you’re familiar with.
Writer: Alisa Maya is a graduate student at the UCL Institute of Education.
She is passionate about improving learning experiences for all through EdTech.
Where Should You Live In 2022 As A Postgraduate Student?
Student Renting Rights
6 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health While Studying Abroad
Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries