Moving out of home for the first time can be daunting but it can also be exciting, a chance to make new friends and experience independence. Since moving out 10 weeks ago, I have learnt a few tips and tricks to making the most of moving away from home. Feel free to follow some (or all) of them when you move out.
This year, I moved away from my family in Nambucca (a little coastal town near Coffs Harbour) to begin my university experience in Newcastle. I decided to move to Newcastle because I wanted to study Communication and live in a city. I didn’t want to go to Coffs (because they didn’t have the course I wanted) despite my mum’s best bargaining efforts. Now, I live in an apartment with 5 roommates in North Tower, one of the student residences on campus. These are my top tips for how to move out of home and settle in somewhere new!
Preparing to move out
Before you move out, it’s important to consider:
- If you are ready to move out. This means considering if you feel ready to move out and if you will be able to handle living away from family, as well as thinking about the logistics of moving away. You should also consider your financial situation- will your parents help you pay? Do you need to find a job where you are moving? Can you claim any scholarships or government aid? For example, you may be eligible for the Tertiary Access payment, Abstudy or Youth Allowance, which can help fund your move.
- Where you are moving to. Consider what living situation is best for you – do you want to live by yourself or in a share-house? With friends or strangers? Consider the pros and cons of all your options. Newcastle Uni has resources for finding university housing both on and off campus.
- What you will need to organise. Before you move, consider what you need to bring and where you could get it (op shops are a great option). In the weeks leading up to moving out, my mum gifted me heaps of old things that she didn’t need anymore, everything from sheets to a toastie machine, and it made the move so much easier when I had everything with me upon arrival.
Don’t forget to bring stuff to make your room a unique and happy space. I made a Pinterest board for inspiration, which also made me more excited about moving. This list from Year13 covers all the essentials. If you are an international student, this Navigator article might be more helpful!
Moving into your new home
Once you move in, take some time to set up your space. My room has fairy lights and plants and I’m also a fan of decorative pillows. If you are living in a share-house, get to know your roommates and take some time to organise things like house rules (which should be clear and specific), bin/cleaning rosters and a group chat so you can stay in contact with each other (I recommend Facebook Messenger as it can be used on any phone or device). It’s important to organise these things earlier rather than later as it can be awkward to bring up after living together for a few weeks.
Combatting home sickness
Once you move out, you will (most likely) miss your home and your family. I usually FaceTime my family while I’m making or eating dinner and call my friends from home occasionally. I also brought my Xbox with me to Newcastle so I can play and catch up with my friends and family. However, I think the best way to combat homesickness is to appreciate your new home.
Exploring your new area is a great activity to do with new friends and roommates. There are lots of awesome places to visit in Newcastle and its surrounds, some of my favourites are Dudley and Redhead. Even something as simple as going for a walk can help you feel more at home and it’s a great way to get your bearings on campus or your suburb. I also love visiting different cafés and restaurants around Newcastle (I especially love getting brekkie in the city before my morning classes on Thursdays).
Moving out is a massive change, so don’t be afraid to reach out to the university’s support systems if you feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry – it won’t be long before you consider yourself a local!