Today’s blog has been written to share advice and tips from Helen Anderson of the Residence Life Team. She is passing on her pearls of wisdom to you all to ensure a smooth arrival.

It’s only ten days until Arrivals Weekend takes place and today we’re thinking ahead with some practical tips on what to expect:

  • Wear comfy clothes! We know that you might want to look cool and make a good impression but we do not recommend high heels, short skirts or capes! (Yes, that happened one year – someone wore a cape. It was fabulous but possibly not very practical.) You will be carrying your items into your residence and will probably encounter some stairs, so come prepared and wear clothes with things that are easy to wear. You will definitely have time to ‘wow’ everyone with your fashion sense at a late date. (Pro tip – the Welcome Team will be wearing bright pink, so if you turn up in bright pink everyone will ask you questions. Everyone. All the questions.)
  • Bring your own bedding! Please remember that we do not provide bedding (except for a mattress cover). This is something that you will need to bring or buy in readiness for your first night. There are a number of shops and supermarkets in the city to purchase items once here.We have shops including: John Lewis, Wilkinson, Ikea, Argos, Debenhams, House of Fraser amongst many others in the city centre for bedding/uni items etc. We also have supermarkets – Sainsburys and Tesco or a Waitrose and Morrisons on the outskirts.See the Visit Exeter webpage for further information. (If you’re travelling internationally, bear in mind that it may take time to get through the airport; also, be aware that most shops in the city centre close around 5-6pm, and earlier on Sundays.)
  • You can get lots of items in the city of Exeter. Things like clothes, household supplies, pots and pans, rice cookers, bedding and cooking ingredients are all easy to find at reasonable prices in an array of shops, department stores and supermarkets. There is no need to panic about needing to bring absolutely everything – if packing space is a bit tight, focus on the personal things that can’t be bought in the shops. You can stock up on everything else later.
  • Check your inventory! Depending on where you live, this may have different names, and it may be a paper form or an electronic document or process. Wherever you are it’s important you do it. At the end of the year, we’ll check over your room and if there’s any damage you could be charged for it – so this is how you tell us about any little snags like marks on the carpet, mattress or walls to make sure we know they weren’t down to you. It’s a good idea to take pictures, too, if you notice anything.
  • Pick up your welcome pack. Depending on where you live you may get this at your residence, or you may need to collect it from the Guild Information Point in Devonshire House. It has lots of useful information in it and the pack itself is pretty handy.
  • It’s great to personalise your room, but remember not to use any Blu Tack™ or sellotape™ on the walls – it leaves marks. You have a noticeboard for all of your mementos, so use this! Also please don’t bring things that could be a fire hazard (such as drapes, extra furniture or fairy lights as these are not allowed). Our terms and conditions provide further information about this.
  • Think about how you’d like to spend your first evening. Everyone is usually keen to meet their new neighbours so don’t be afraid to knock doors and say “hello” – if you find that not many people have moved in to your block yet, you’ll find plenty of company at our laid back Arrivals Weekend Events. It’s totally up to you, but our advice would be to take things fairly easy on the first night – moving in is pretty tiring and there’s no rush to head out for a big night out. Just settle in, take time and if it feels a bit overwhelming – check out our forthcoming blog about surviving Freshers’.

See you all soon.

Residence Life Helen and Accommodation Team.