Tuesday 6 August 2019


Sa-mmy's back, alright! If you didn't just sing that to the tune of Everybody by Backstreet Boys, then you really missed a trick.

Ya girl is back home, university has been done and dusted, I - surprisingly- made a non-teary journey back from Cardiff and I'm still in the process of settling back into Northern life. So far it's... going.

Now I've had a little bit of time to process the past 3 years, look back on the experience and think about everything that has, or hasn't, changed, I want to share with you all how I made the move a much easier transition, and turned my uni dorm room into a home away from home.


From the first year I moved into Liberty Living, they made it crystal clear that you were not to stick anything to the walls with sticky tack, quite often the oil in tack leaves a darker mark behind on most wall paint and there's no getting rid of it unless it's painted over. So check first before you get in trouble and have your deposit become non-refundable.

I'll be honest, when I first moved in I stuck a couple of posters up, the marks weren't majorly noticeable, probably due to the fact I'd stained the walls by accident with exploded pink fruit cider. I didn't lose my deposit, but seriously, be careful. Mostly the threat of not receiving your deposit after you move out is only enforced if you smash a hole in the wall, or take a door off its hinges, but don't quote me on that.

Luckily by the second year, the whole building had undergone a renovation, and the walls had a more resistant paint applied, so no more sticky tack residue. Winner! We were still advised not to stick anything up but it wasn't visible on the walls so I took the chance.

I was expecting my childhood home to have been sold whilst I was at university, that was the plan at least, so when I first moved in I took virtually everything I owned with me. I filled SIX Royal Mail type cages with stuff and then bought more furniture from Ikea down the road. It was excessive, but I didn't have the choice back then. I love love loved having everything I owned with me though, it made life so much easier and I wasn't constantly thinking "Did I bring that with me? God I really need it".

However, it really isn't feasible for everyone, and I completely understand that. Most students move into halls with their parents car full of stuff, my mum and I travelled over 200 miles with a Transit van. Bonkers.

If you have the space then take what you want. A few flats I went into were so sparse and had zero personality, or character, that it felt cold and unwelcoming and I honestly don't know how they coped living in such an impersonal space for 3 years.

Taking my little old TV was a no brainer, I'm pretty sure TV was the only thing that carried me through uni. 

First thing you need to know is that you all need a TV license in your flat if you're all going to be watching 'normal' telly. Unfortunately it doesn't work if you just have one license per flat, in ours we would have needed 5 separate ones if we all wanted to watch it in our own rooms. I wasn't fussed, I had my DVD player, a selection of DVD's and my Amazon Fire TV Stick. A student Amazon Prime account is free for 6 months and then £39.99 a year after that, it's way way worth it and so much cheaper than a TV license. Obviously you just can't watch ITV or the Beeb. Not a deal breaker for me.

I lived on buying cheap DVD's from CEX and binge-watching tv shows whilst working, it provided such good background that made me more relaxed and less stressed out with work.

As you can see, I've got a tonne of pictures printed and stuck to my walls because I love all the little moments that they represent. 90% of them were printed on FreePrints, if by some stroke of misfortune you've managed to not hear about this gem, then let Sam give you a little tip. 

FreePrints allows you 45 free photos a month, the delivery varied on how many you have printed, but either way it still works out a heck of a lot cheaper than it would be to have them printed in-store. It probably averages out at 11p per print for 45.
(To get an extra 5 prints a month, click this link and make your first in-app order!)

As you can see below, I have a collage wall of just good memories, and then there's the black and white wall of my fave actors and postcards I've collected along the way. It looks neat and personal and all for next to nothing.

I purchased the film poster from eBay for a few quid (because hello, The Martian is one of my faves) and then I had a few promotional pictures and artwork printed at FreePrints to accompany it.

Paperchase have some cracking postcards for sale, some I've collected over the years, or a fair few I've nabbed when they've gone in the sale, but for 80p each you can't really complain either way. Don't forget your 10% discount too.

My other little bits and bobs are either things I've accumulated from friends over the years, promotional theatre materials, and small items that go with the colour scheme of my room. As you can see I'm still into pink and grey so I've accented the room in those colours. I think it really ties the room together nicely.

Now, I'm a major candle obsessive so being at uni has put a real strain on my candle affection, so instead I've used them (unlit) as decoration and then I sticky tacked fairy lights along the edge of my bed and around the edges of the ceiling. There's nothing nicer than relaxing in bed after a stressful day and switching the tiny lights on to let them softly light up the room. 

Lastly, snap up a few cheap cushions and throw them on the bed with a fluffy throw blanket, it looks cute and turns your bed into a comfy seating area when your friends come round to visit. Double winner.
I always had complimentary comments from friends and Liberty Living staff when they came into my room, because it really was a home away from home. It's so very affordable to decorate a basic room with just a few bits and bobs, and takes next to no work to turn it into a personal little haven that you'll be glad to escape to when uni and work become too much for you.

If there are any other university posts or tips you'd like me to share, drop me a comment or a message on Twitter/Instagram and I'll be more than happy to help!

S xo
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1 comment

  1. Love this! Great tips for someone moving away from home for the first time.


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