Moving House… Again…
My first ever memory as a child, is of staring down at the road, from an empty bedroom’s window. I was 2 years old and this was the first time I ever moved house.
Until the age of 23 I had only moved once. I could never understand the idea of wanting to sell up and move away from everything you had ever known. It seemed a terrifying thought! To leave everyone and everything behind, cutting loose from that safety net. I fear change!
Then one day, I returned home from work to find a ‘For Sale’ sign on my house!
My parents had been doing up the house and repairing things for the first time in decades, but never in twenty years, did I actually think we would ever dare to leave the bubble! The place we lived was a dump and we’d had nothing but trouble from the local young aspiring criminals, but it was our dump! We were used to trouble and knew what to expect!
It sounds so stupid, but at the time the idea of moving to a nice safe area in Suffolk, (compared to our little hell hole in my beloved Essex) was terrifying! I’m a loner! How would I make new friends? Suffolk people are very different to Essex and London people, how would I spot the signs for trouble and understand the rules and ways of a new town? I had a partner of four years at the time, now I was moving miles away. How would that last? A new job, a new life, a new way of thinking…
That’s probably the first time I felt like my entire world had been turned upside down. Being forced to face my biggest fears and start my life all over again new. I felt utterly lost.
That’s when I discovered how much fun it can be to reinvent yourself. The first time I understood that when life collapses, it’s not the end! You just need to clear away the mental and physical debris, so that you can start planning your next adventure! Choose new goals, look at what new experiences and opportunities are now on offer and take a few chances.
When I think about the overwhelming fear and dread that ‘For Sale’ sign filled me with I laugh, because in the past 8 years, I have now moved another 8 times!! What can I say, I caught the wander lust!
Why Move So Often?
The first time I moved away from my family, was me running back to Essex to try to reclaim my old life and keep my
relationship afloat. But sadly (as is natural), after four years away you’ll find people change and move on with their lives. It’s not that you can never go back, it’s that you shouldn’t expect everything to be the same as you left it or for people to have waited for you. Life just doesn’t work that way.
The next two moves: I lived with 6 guys and had some brilliant times, they were so laid back and fun to be around! (Girls stress me out, we worry too much!) We had some great times and memories! ? But being in our late twenties to early thirties, the drunk late nights and parties could only last so long before people started moving out, settling down, getting married and having kids. Such is life! People change and grow.
The next move was the result of being involved in an accident that left me with PTSD among other issues, and I felt the best option was to return to my family in Suffolk to be close to those I love. I had to get a work transfer, swallow my pride and go back to being a baker. A job that as you may previously have read, really doesn’t suit me. But I knew it was for the best!
All other moves were in the name of education and university, trying to jump start my retail battered and bored brain. I seem to move house so much, it might be nice to just travel for a while.
The Reality of Student Life
“Bloody lazy students! What an easy life!” I too was guilty of this way of thinking. Watching the young part-
timers strolling into work for the short easy shifts & thinking what an easy life they had.
I had no clue what a mental and physical strain it can be to juggle a job, studying, mountains of reading, essays, exam revision and feeling like everyone else is a bloody rocket scientist, while you feel like you’ve been reading an entirely different language and just can’t keep up! The grades for all the essays I do submit are great, 70+ (a 1st!), but I just can’t keep up! I can’t handle the pressure.
There are reasons why there is a huge emphasis on mental health and well-being when you go to uni. Sadly not everyone makes it out alive! The overwhelming pressure, not just from others, or financially, but the stress and expectations you put on yourself. Setting unrealistic targets that no-one can achieve!
But Why Leave?
For £9000 a year you can’t help but worry & obsess over all the people you might be letting down or time you might be wasting. Worrying that you should have a real job like everyone else your age. The pressure and stress you put on yourself can become overwhelming. If you are over 30, these worries become magnified! When all your friends have kids, mortgages and seem to have their sh*t together, it can really take a lot to break the mould and do something
different from the norm. Especially when you have financial commitments and adult responsibilities that the other younger students can’t possibly relate to.
When you bare in mind I already had existing issues with PTSD, depression and anxiety, an explosion was imminent. The pressure I was putting on myself became too much and I shut down. I’ve chosen to intermit from uni, which means taking a 6 month break to decide whether I’m doing it for the bit of paper at the end or the life experience, and take some time to decide if it’s all worth it.
Luckily, if there’s one thing all this moving has taught me, it’s how to bounce back and start again! Money is a worry right now and I need to find a job, but I’m glad of the break to be honest.
You’d think by now I’d be awesome at preparing to move and keeping possessions to a minimum for an easy
and transportable life.
*coughs* …Erm …yeah, no! Not at all! They say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you will ever do, so apparently I love bouncing from meltdown to meltdown, haha.
The most recent move was from a one room en-suite flat with a shared kitchen. Easy you’d think! But it took four carloads in an eight seat minivan. Minimalist my ass! That wasn’t even with any furniture, as that was provided in the accommodation.
I really need to have a massive clear out & plan better for next time!
Some Helpful Moving Tips I Have Learned:
- Start packing early!
- Plan! Write lists of essential tasks you need to get done before you move.
- Declutter!! Shred any old unnecessary paperwork, clear out clothes that don’t fit (be honest!) Don’t wait until you get to your new place to do this, cut down on wasted time & energy.
- You can get large cardboard crisp boxes, or boxes of all sizes from supermarkets if you ask very nicely, but be sure to try to ask in advance so they can put some aside for you, before they go in the crusher.
- Internet can take ages to get set up if you’re not organised. Research early to see how soon you can be connected.
- Get your mail redirection set up online as early as possible, you don’t want to miss bills and appointments because they’re at the wrong house.
- Pack room by room! Label all bags and boxes: What they are and where they go. It makes life easier if you can find all your kitchen stuff or toiletries quickly and in the right room at the new place, after a long hard day moving.
- Don’t overload boxes, make sure you can lift easily before sealing.
- Pack a survival bag or box! Make sure its obvious or a bright colour so you know exactly where it is during the move. Keep it in arms reach at all times! This should be full of all your essential medications, documents, I.D, phone chargers, drinks and snacks, toilet roll, keys, basic screw drivers, first aid kit & anything else you might need to know the exact location of in a hurry. During a move, things just get crammed into boxes, and then a lorry and become easily lost. Know where your emergency survival kit is!
- If you need to dismantle furniture, put any screws & loose bits into a bag and tape it to the furniture.
- Label and tape remotes to matching dvd players/TV
- Vacuum storage bags are good for moving clothes, but strong rubbish will do if you’re in a hurry to pack, and take up less room than suitcases. Label them! e.g. underwear, work clothes, jumpers etc.
- Clean before you go! Getting that deposit back is a massive help. The more you can get back the better!
- A fridge/freezer will normally stay cold for several hours if you tape it shut. Its an easy way to transport food if you’re not moving far away.
- Ice packs are an essential for transporting food in bags or cooler boxes.
- Take photos before you pack and when you leave. Memories are good to hang on to. Its all part of the life experience, and having some nice photos of the old place helps if you feel homesick. I don’t know about anyone else, but seeing photos of the place empty helps provide me with a sense of closure, and make it easier to move on and start fresh.
- Register for doctor & dentist ASAP. You never know when you’ll need them in an emergency. Save yourself stress, register early.
- Change addresses on all your accounts and bills as soon as possible.
- Make sure to update all your online shopping accounts too, getting lost mail and deliveries tracked down and redelivered is a pain.
- Get a TV licence for your new home or move your old one. If you have prepaid and then moved in with someone who already has a TV licence, you can claim a refund for any remaining time.
- Register to vote online as soon as possible.
Goodbye Old Uni Accommodation!
It was actually more cosy and attractive than it looks in the photos, but posters, decorations, TV + DVD collection & books etc. obviously make a space more personal and homely. Remember when you move to uni, it’s going to be your home for a while, so make it as cosy & welcoming as you can!
God I’m going to miss having my own space & private bathroom! ?