Friday, 15 September 2017

Advice On Settling Into Your University Room + Room Tour

When it came to September 2015, I was less than the squishiest marshmallow. I was liquid marshmallow, melted by fear and terror and worry. I was terrified liquid marshmallow, running down the street and into the drains. It was a difficult time because as much as I was very worried about moving to university, I was also extremely eager to set up a new life in my city of choice, Leeds. I was ready to combine all the information I had gathered about the world and cooking and become not only a Higher Education student but also an Adult who flew from the nest and set up their own, fully functioning nest.

Setting up a comfortable bedroom was a crucial part in my settling into university life, and that has continued to be the case every year. Note that my emotional stability increases at the exact rate that you add cushions and nice mugs. A lot of people will be the same, I'm sure.

This post is going to be a little walk around my room, while I explain why it is the way it is and how it's designed to help me settle into the groove.








STORAGE


The first thing to do when you move in (after the cup of tea) is look for storage space. You're going to need somewhere to keep your suitcase out of the way. Usually there is room under your bed or on top of the wardrobe. You can opt to keep out of season clothes etc in suitcases as extra efficient storage, or leave them empty if you're planning to go home a lot and get big plastic tubs instead. I also store alcohol up there, out of the way but always ready.

I would also *highly recommend* getting door hooks for coats, bags and scarfs to grab on your way out. But wait until you get to uni and measure the door thickness - it's very sad if they don't fit over! Luckily this year my door has its own rail, which I've extended with said door hook.



BED


I’m pretty sure the first thing (bar mugs) we buy while excitedly uni shopping is bedding. There is something about fresh new sheets that is the heart and soul of a new room, that everything else is purchased to match. We’re not wrong here, bed is VERY important at uni. You will spend a lot of time in it. Time pre-napping before a night out and then nursing yourself back to health in the morning. Nights with (multiple) pillows piled on top of your head as you try to ignore your flatmate’s incessantly loud music because they're going out again. Time moving between your desk and bed, trying to write that essay. And also time when you feel homesick and scared and just want to be somewhere warm.


My duvet cover & pillows are from Urban Outfitters, and the bedding itself is almost exclusively from Wilkos. {Wilkos is a godsend. You will find almost every startup essential in the place, bedroom and kitchen. Make it your first stop if you haven’t already!} I like to collect throws too, I don’t think you can really have too many throws. You can use them to cover chairs and ugly furniture as well as the warmth factor.

Next to my bed I have this little table, and on it I keep daily wind-down bits like moisturiser, tea tree spray, hairbands, a good book, candle and chocolate. Keep important things within arms distance of your bed for the times you just can't face getting out.



In this picture are two important pieces in creating a homely room. A rug, and slippers. Taking care of your feet should not be under estimated. From avoiding barefoot stepping on something gooey on the kitchen floor to making getting out of bed easier on a cold morning, there isn't much a pair of good slippers can't help with. These slippers are from M&S and I love them so much I repurchased them after The Great Flood of 2015, the rug is from UO, but you can get cheaper & fluffier ones everywhere. 




THE VIEW FROM BED


I think it's nice to consider what you wake up to in the morning. The statement “IT’S OK” banner (from Secret Holiday & CO) is my all time favourite piece of decor I have ever owned, and it's exactly what I want to see before I go to bed and the second I wake up. I’ve found it really helpful to be surrounded by positive messages on the walls while at uni, and this is the best of them all. 


I also made my bed area even cosier with fairy lights wrapped around the little clothing rail. Paired with candles in the evening, it's super calming.










TIDYING


I’m a firm believer that everyone needs (and has) a Stuff Draw. Mine is there, and it contains everything from shampoo to chargers and surface cleaning wipes. Below it is another absolute necessity: the Comfy Clothes Draw. What really fucks me over is flinging my loungewear onto the floor before bed or a shower. A designated draw completely solves this. The better option I had in first & second year was a big Ikea tub under my bed. 

And again, right next to my bed is my hefty washing up basket (M&S). I bought this for first year and somehow it’s one of the only items that survived the Great Flood of 2015. I love it. It fits about 3 weeks of clothes in before I'm forced to deal with it.

On top of the draws is extra makeup storage from Muji for what doesn't fit in my makeup bag, as well as jewellery storage from Oliver Bonas. This *adorable* little vintage mirror is where I straighten my hair in the morning. 







DESK SPACE


Make this space your own. Keep it uncluttered, or as cluttered as you need it. Everyone works in different ways, some of you won't even use your bedroom desk as you'll do everything at the library and insist on coming back to a sacred space at the end of the day. 

I choose to keep my bedroom desk minimal and welcoming, as I have a studio in the house for shop work, and try to keep uni work within uni hours. It's clean, plant friendly and is where I blog, sketch and make lists. For now my walls are pretty bare, but I'm hoping to tape up mood boards of what I'm working on throughout the year! (With washi tape of course, to avoid marking my walls and getting fined. Even though landlords don't even repaint marked walls...)






DECORATIONS


Can we just take a moment to appreciate this trolly? It serves no use except looking pretty and housing my massive Monstera Deliciosa, candles and other pretty pots. The pots aren't even serving a proper use, they contain tampons. Loads of tampons. But the effect of having a pretty corner makes me very happy indeed. It makes my room feel homely. Just like the cushions, rug, giant motivational pencil, throws and framed prints do. Investing in little trinkets can finish off a room nicely - just don't go too mad or you'll be living exclusively on baked beans by January.

Plants can be picked up cheaply from markets, however, and if you're nice they grow big! My Monstera and Pilea (on the desk) are an experiment, but somehow they've survived the last 2 months, so I have hope. Plants open up a room and give it life.




And that concludes my bedroom! I had a hard time writing this post, merging uni advice and a room tour together really worked better in my head! But I hope it was a decent read nonetheless. 

There is a LOT more to consider when it comes to settling into university. How to meet people for friendship, how to explore a city, what your capsule kitchen cupboard should be, how much to spend on a food shop... I am aware I merely showed you my pillows. Hmm. If you have any specific questions about these, I'd love to write more on the subject, so let me know.

Good luck to everyone setting off for uni this September, and I wish you all the best. Admittedly, my first year was pretty crap. The second was an upgrade, but only in comparison. I have hopes for third year, however. I now have a nest, a beautiful tried and tested nest that I'm happy in at the end of the day. I know what I want out of my course, and I'm lucky to have moved in with 4 absolutely lovely girls this year. Good vibes, we've got this!

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