When university means making a move
Starting a degree can be daunting, especially if you are moving to a new city to undertake your studies. From figuring out where you’re going to live to making sense of your new bus route, there’s lots to consider. However, the good news is you have plenty to look forward to. New friends, new adventures and a new city to explore – it’s all waiting for you.
For Bachelor of Arts student Emily Fawn, moving from her hometown of Bathurst in rural New South Wales (NSW) to study in Sydney was an intimidating prospect.
“I had to consider my finances, plan where I was going to live and get to know a different city. For the first few months it was really difficult settling into a routine,” she admitted.
If you have to make a move for uni like Emily did, student counsellor Emily Douglas from ACU’s campus counselling service said in spite of the obstacles, “through any change and challenge we experience personal growth as we’re forced to adapt psychologically to our new environment. This helps us to develop self-confidence and resilience. As well as contributing positively to your self-development, moving to a new city allows you to broaden your life experience and increase your independence.”
Moving from a small town like Bathurst to a huge city like Sydney wasn’t easy for Emily.
“There were times I just wanted to go home,” she said. “When you walk down the street in Bathurst, you say ‘hi’ to so many familiar faces, but in Sydney you barely see anyone you know. There just isn’t the same sense of community that I was used to.”
Emily Douglas said it’s natural to feel a range of emotions when you’re trying to settle into a new place. “This could include anxiety, sadness, irritation, frustration, confusion and excitement,” she said. “But don’t worry, this is completely normal. All transitions require some adjustment.”
Her advice is focus on building connections in your new city. “Check out ACU’s student associations and clubs to have fun while broadening your social network.”
Take your time
Allow plenty of time to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings if you have to move for uni.
“Students should arrive at least one week before Orientation to get to know their new home,” said Simone Gallo, manager of ACU’s Living and Learning Communities.
Once you’ve arrived, she suggested the first thing you should do is get your head around public transport. Download your city’s main transport app and determine which travel card you’ll need before you begin exploring.
“The team at AskACU are always happy to help you with transport options and activity ideas to get you settled into your new home,” Simone said. Emily agreed that Sydney’s public transport took some time to get used to.
“Back home we didn’t have trains, only buses,” she said. “However, I was surprised by how quickly I got used to it all. You will make mistakes, but you’ll learn.”
Finding a place to live in a new city is never easy, which is why student accommodation is always a good idea for out-of-towners.
“Our student residences provide so many social opportunities, making it easy to meet new people,” said Simone. “This is particularly helpful if you’ve moved to a new city and feel a little out of place.” Best of all, student accommodation provides an all-inclusive rental rate.
“This means rent, utilities, support, some free internet allowance and our Residential Life program are all included.”
Living in Sydney’s student accommodation made the transition to uni much easier for Emily. “If you come from a rural town like me, it really helped that lots of the other students were also from small places and had to move for uni like I did,” she said. “I have begun to create my own little family within the building, which helps when I’m missing home.”
Read more about life in student accommodation and discover the ways we support our students during their time at ACU.