Why I love being at uni and feel like I can call it home

13 Jan 2020
By Jennifer H., Student at University of Portsmouth

Nine months is a long time to be away from your family and hometown, but I love being at uni.

There are so many things that you can do to make yourself feel like a local, and over the past few months I’ve really learned how to feel at home in my new city. Let me share them with you...

There’s so much to explore

If you leave uni after three years knowing only where Wetherspoons and the students’ union is, I’m sorry that you’ve not truly made the most of your uni experience. I love walking around Portsmouth with my friends and finding unusual places to explore.

We’ll never have quite so much freedom and spare time again, so we may as well make good use of it. My aim is to get to know my uni city as well as my home city before I graduate. I get such a kick when I find little nooks and crannies in different parts of Portsmouth.

My space is my own

Halls might provide the basics, like a bed, desk and wardrobe, but they only make it feel like a room, not a home. To truly settle somewhere new, you need to make the place your own. You could bring snuggly blankets and cushions from home or decorate your bookshelf with weird little knick-knacks - I personally have a sentimental packing peanut and a mini Mario figurine.

Whatever your passion and interests, decorate your room with them - they’re what make you unique. Charity shops are really good places to get cheap ornaments, while pictures hung with command hooks or fairy lights are great for making a room intimate and cosy!

At risk of exposing myself as a major Taylor Swift fan, I actually have a picture of her on my wall. It makes my room my own, and I thought the photo of my bookshelf was too embarrassing to show.

I can be myself

Be true to who you are and you can make the sort of friendships that will define your time at uni. I came into uni vowing to be a little bit more mature, but have just reverted back to my usual excitable self. I’ve since found people who are similar, and it’s these types of friendships that make a place feel a little bit more like home.

When I’m at home I don’t spend every day sat around doing nothing, so why would I do the same at uni? Basically what I’m trying to say is socialise how you would at home. There’s no point in acting the social butterfly and making yourself uncomfortable when you would rather have a small group of friends to socialise with.

I genuinely love being at uni. Even though I’ve been here for a few months now, I’m still discovering things that even locals may miss in their everyday lives. If you take one thing away from this article I hope you get out there and truly live in your uni city. It will feel like home soon enough.

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I’m a first-year English literature student at the University of Portsmouth.