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uni-life 4 min read

Moving onto college: 4 common stages

By Ashleigh 11 Apr 2019
View into residential room at McGregor College, USQ.

So, you’re thinking about moving onto a USQ Residential College. I can tell you from personal experience that right from the start this will be one incredible journey! When you first start your Res Colleges journey, you’ll probably experience all the ups and downs of a rollercoaster at top speed. These experiences can be roughly broken into four common stages that a lot of new residents experience when they first move onto college.

Stage 1 – #nerves

You've been accepted into USQ and also into college accommodation, and now you're preparing for what will be some of the greatest years of your life: living at USQ Residential Colleges. Excitement and joy flood through you, but then the nerves set in. You might start to feel uncertain and have a multitude of different concerns and thoughts run through your mind. You start asking yourself these questions:

  • What do I bring?
  • Will I fit in?
  • Will I be able to make friends?
  • What will living away from home be like?
  • How will I cope with my studies?
  • What if I get lost?
  • Is this really what I want to do?
  • Am I ready for this?

Ashleigh with Res College friends wearing Phoenix t-shirts

Do you want to know a little secret? Every single new resident moving onto college is feeling the same way. I know I did and my friends did, so it’s only natural that you will too. It’s an uncertain time, but trust me, once you get past this stage, the time you spend living on-college will be some of the best of your life.

Stage 2 - #anticipation

So you’ve been accepted, now what? You need to start preparing for the next journey of your life by shopping for your new room (because who doesn’t love shopping?), packing everything you need and enrolling in classes. When thinking about what to bring, keep it simple, as your room might start to feel crowded if you bring too much.

Before you know it there will only be a few days before Orientation Week (O-Week) begins, and while you’ve still got no idea what to expect from living on-college, you’re packed and ready to go!

Ashleigh with Res College friends at a themed party

Stage 3 - #timetomovein

On your very first day of college, you will be greeted by some very friendly faces as you check in at the dining hall: your college Resident Advisors (RAs) and Resident Student Club members. They will give you a quick rundown of the day’s activities, give you a bag of freebies, a college Orientation shirt and a fresher item. Your block RA will then show you where your room is and you’re done (until the fun starts that afternoon). Orientation has begun!

On entering your room, you’ll find a blank canvas and start thinking about how you will move your bed around, what you’ll put on the walls and how you’ll set everything you bought out on your desk. Remember those nerves you had before? They’re probably all gone by now—but let me tell you… from my experience, they will return!

Once you’ve unpacked and met the other new Res College students in your block, you’ll get a rundown of how college works and then it will be time for the first fun event of the week. This is different for each college, but usually entails some ‘meet & greet’ activities to help you learn more about your fellow freshers. You’ll get a chance to meet returners (students who already lived on-colleges) when they move back in the next day.

Ashleigh with friends at a Res College formal
Image source: Mitchell Lawler Photography

Stage 4 - #settlingin

Let’s flashback to before you moved in: you had just received your offer of accommodation and you were a nervous wreck. Since then, you’ve packed your room up and unpacked it at colleges, you’ve experienced Orientation, met some new friends, and now it is time to get serious, because uni has started!

After living at both McGregor and Concannon during my four years of uni, I can only just remember the nerves and anticipation I had first moving onto colleges. USQ Residential Colleges provides a space for you to study and make friends that will last a lifetime. Each day will bring the chance to make new memories; each month will bring exciting events for you to enjoy including semi-formal and formal, Paint Olympics, Car Rally and Hero Day; and each year you will be provided with new leadership opportunities and adventures that will broaden your horizons and enhance your personality and skills. Before you know it, your degree will be finished, and it’ll be time to move away from a place that has become your new home away from home.

Ashleigh with Concannon College friends

Not all students will move through these stages in exactly the same way, but hopefully by sharing my experiences you’ll realise it’s perfectly normal to experience a huge range of emotions when moving onto Res Colleges.

If you’re moving through these stages, and beginning your college journey, find out how to make the most of the experience!

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