Hello! I’m Elena, a Spanish student in my second year of Business Management at Surrey. Today’s post is all about moving into halls as a fresher. Not all of the pictures were taken in moving-in weekend, so the places shown will probably look busier then.
My dad travelled with me to England. We arrived the night before moving-in day and stayed at a hotel. The girl at the hotel’s reception that greeted us was actually a student at Surrey, and she said I’d have a great time at uni. She wasn’t wrong. If you’re reading this, hello! You made my day a couple years ago. I was very nervous and excited going to sleep and then waking up and getting ready to go the next morning.
My moving-in day definitely lived up to expectations. I pretty much felt like I was in a movie. We got an Uber to Surrey and it was great seeing the campus and the Stag. It was also amazing to see all of these people dressed in yellow shirts dancing around with posters, giving directions and helping out freshers.
The Uber left us at Manor Park and I queued up at the check-in they had set at Heart & Soul (Manor Park’s Restaurant/Coffee shop). As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, I met a friendly girl in the queue. As a fresher, remember everyone is in the same situation you’re in, so say hi to people whenever you can.
After getting my key, my dad and I went to my flat. We got a bit lost at first, but the Fresher’s Angels helped us. Thankfully my building had a lift, which made carrying my luggage much easier.
My dad and I bought a few things in town and then headed out to Stag Hill campus for me to get my uni ID (another thing I was super excited for). This went great except for the fact that we totally missed the Manor Park stops on the way back to my accommodation. We basically lost an hour as we’d unknowingly taken the bus that took the longest route and waited for it to go to Manor Park again to leave some bags in my room.
We then went to town again for a quick lunch and bought some things at TK Maxx and Robert Dyas (bedding, dishes, pans etc). As I had come from Spain, I had only brought with me clothes, some basic toiletries and other small items I could pack into a couple of suitcases.
This meant I had to get quite a few of things on the first day. We then realised the stores, including supermarkets, were closing quite early (for me) and soon (17:30-18:00) and I needed to grab some dinner and food for the next day, so we rushed into M&S (the nearest supermarket still open at that time) and I got a few basics like pasta, tomato sauce and stir-fry veggies (I’m not sure if they classify as essential, but I genuinely didn’t know what to get and I was stressed because the shop was about to close). I do want to say, expect shops to be super busy and for them to run out of essentials quickly during moving-in weekend. I’d advise you to do a food shop before you move in if you can.
We finally made it back to my flat and then I said good-bye to my dad. It was quite sad to see him leave, but also exciting – it’s in that moment when you realise you’re officially at uni, living alone for the first time, independent.
I’m not going to lie here, I felt a bit lonely while unpacking everything, but then I went into the kitchen and met one of my flatmates, so I wasn’t alone anymore and I like meeting new people so everything was new and fun and exciting again. By the way, don’t leave the kitchen door open or it’ll start beeping! This happened as I met one of my flatmates. I know some people recommend to keep your room door open during moving-in to meet your flatmates, but you can also try just going to the kitchen or knocking on people’s doors (both worked for me).
That first night I had dinner with three of my flatmates. I had pasta with tomato sauce. I am such a chef, right? Well, again, I had not made a shopping list and M&S was about to close, so I had to get things quickly. You should learn from my mistakes though. It was nice to get to know them, and some of us even went out to Rubix and had an amazing time together that night.
All in all, moving in to uni can be a nerve-wracking, exciting and intimidating experience all at once. Just remember everyone is in the same boat. Whether you love to meet people, find it difficult, love to go out or prefer to stay in, remember there are lots more people like you in the same situation. I would definitely encourage everyone to join Facebook Freshers and accommodation groups as it’s good to know some people beforehand (I found it useful).
Just relax and try to have fun. You’re only truly a fresher once! Make the most of it!
Until next time, Elena.
P.S. I’m really missing being a fresher after writing this. Treasure it while you can.