Moving out of home for the first time, or moving to a new city can be really daunting - but it is also incredibly exciting! Here are my top tips for settling in to your new home:
1. Make friends
Always remember, most of the students that you will meet will be in exactly the same position as you – brand new to the city, and a little bit overwhelmed. Making friends, particularly with your housemates and course mates, is a great way to settle in. You can use the fact that you’re all new here as an opportunity to go out exploring, and getting to know the city together.
2. Use public transport
Check out Leeds Beckett’s public transport section of the website, for information on getting around the city. These pages will show you the names of areas you probably have never heard of before, and you can add them all to your ‘to explore’ list. Bus journeys for students are great value for money, and are a great way of getting to know the routes both into town, and out into the surrounding areas of Leeds.
3. Speak to locals - especially within the university
Chat to your lecturers and other university staff - they are there to support you with anything to do with university life, including settling in. Most of them also live close by, and will know the city well. They will more than likely be able to suggest a few places to visit that are off the beaten track, and point you in the right direction for most things that you are looking for.
4. Try something new
Become a 'yes' person when it comes to discovering new places! Try visiting somewhere new wherever possible (rather than sticking to the places you have tried and tested), to figure out your own favourite spots. A lot of the independents shops, cafes and restaurants in Leeds run regular (and often free) events. What better way to get to know the city, and get to know new people with similar interests?!
5. Use Job Shop
A possibly unpopular opinion, but one that seriously helped me to feel at home is- be employed. Whether this is working for the University or externally, our Job Shop is on hand to help. This is a great way to meet new people and familiarise yourself with a location, it also helps to earn some money to fund these new adventures.
However, my final (and most important) tip is to cut yourself some slack- the process of settling in to a new city is going to take time, but always remember you're not alone in this. Leeds is a vibrant and student orientated city so get exploring, meet new people and have fun!