The transition period from life at home to life at the University Of Limerick is never an easy task. In this blog, Ellen outlines how she managed to adapt to being away from home while making life-long memories and friends along the way.
During my time so far here at University of Limerick, I can confidently say I’ve grown exponentially as a person, student, and friend. I’ve met so many friendly people from all over the world, and I’ve had the opportunity to learn about their culture and their story. Learning someone’s story is the most valuable takeaway I will have from my semester abroad, and it is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The transition to a new culture, country, and school is not easy, and from my experience, having a good attitude about it, and being open to trying new things will really reward you in the best ways during your time here. In this post I will be sharing three tips that I’ve learned throughout the duration of my time here at University of Limerick.
- Decorate your space
This is a tip that I didn’t embody until a couple weeks into the semester, but I wish I had from the beginning. If you’re on exchange or erasmus, and far from home, it is so comforting to have familiar pictures, books, and other special goods from home. Pictures can be easily hung on the cloth board in your accommodation and will still comply with on-campus living mandates. It makes your space feel more like your own, rather than just a temporary living situation. Having familiar books, or linens is a good reminder that you can carry parts of your home, family and friends with you even whilst being here in Ireland.
- Join a club or society
It can feel daunting if you don’t know many people, but joining one of the many clubs or societies on campus can be a perfect way to get to know students with a shared interest. Clubs and societies are a consistent way to develop friendships, and to also develop your skills. Even joining just one club or society here at University of Limerick will connect you to the social side of university, and who knows you might meet some amazing life long friends.
- Check in with yourself
Throughout your transition here you may feel overwhelmed at times; after a long week of studies, or after a busy week of travelling. If you feel very low energy, or socially drained, and that all is completely normal. I think it’s so important to check in with yourself, and allow yourself the necessary down time in whatever manner that looks like for you. A good piece of advice I’ve received from friends here at University of Limerick is that: if I’m not at my best emotionally and mentally, I’m not the best version of myself as a friend, student, or flatmate.