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Lexie's advice on settling into your new home and first term at University.

Lexie Croft

Starting University isn't easy, moving to a new town or city, making new friends and starting a new course which steers the path of your future can be scary! After moving from a small town to Lincoln I was extremely overwhelmed. I'm writing this now to any future students so that you can potentially learn from my experiences, as there are a few lessons I learnt in the semester of my first year at university which I would like to pass on.

The first lesson I learnt to make yourself comfortable was you have to turn your accommodation into your home. I am incredibly grateful that I am currently staying in Iconinc – Gravity, here in Lincoln where I am surrounded by such incredible people and staff, I get to attend countless events which have helped me to make friends and discover my independence on my own terms. None of this would have been possible if I hadn't had spent the time I'm to bring some comforts into my room; if you were to walk into my room now, you would see rainbow lights and stuffed animals all over! For some, that must be a nightmare, but for me, it brings me comfort after a long day of lectures or a 12-hour shift at work.

The next lesson and perhaps the most influential one is never be afraid to explore on your own. When I moved to Lincoln I had an entire month before University started, at first, I was apprehensive to go out and explore by myself out of fear of being lonely, but I found solace in finding my new favourite hiding places within the city. One of my favourites? A small book store/café on Steep Hill which makes some great treats or the Cat Café. Once I started to branch out of my room, finding my feet became a lot easier. I think the highlights of my year so far was getting to explore the cathedral or going to my first ever Christmas Market (I would 100% recommend this).

A lot of people ask me: “Lexie, how did you make friends when you live in a self-contained flat, don’t you miss the “Halls experience?”. The answer every time is no!

Living in this incredible accommodation has made me more social, having such a broad range of amenities such as the cinema or the gym means that I have ample opportunity to meet new people. I can sit here now and tell you that I've met two of my closest friends, I am so grateful to have them in my life, and it all started over a slice of cake in one of our communal areas. I was apprehensive when I decided to live here because I was scared of missing out. However, I can happily say now that, if anything, I've had more opportunities here than I would have had if I'd stayed in university accommodation.

My last piece of advice is, is taking this time to make mistakes, to try things you've never tried before and to meet people every chance you get. I joined societies that I've never heard of, continued my cheerleading journey and met some inspirational athletes who have inspired me to continue my All-Star journey. I've had the chance to sing in the cathedral, be an ambassador for my medical school and make some wonderful friends on the way; all because I decided to throw myself in the deep end.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds, and I’ll make sure to take you guys along with me!

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