Arrivals Day will be one of the most exciting yet nerve racking days of your life. You’ve made it through A Levels, been accepted by the University of Essex and you’re all set to leave home.
Now all that’s left to do is to get settled in, meet everyone and enjoy yourself!
Everyone’s experience of Arrivals Day is different but here’s how mine panned out! (I’ve also included a few top tips for when you first arrive).
Before the big day I couldn’t sleep much at all because I was so excited to get started after a long summer! I made sure that my parents dropped me off at the University nice and early to make the most of my first day at Essex.
When I first arrived, I needed to head down to the LTB to get my room key.
*TOP TIP* Everything should be clearly signposted but if you can’t find anything then just ask someone and they will be happy to help if they aren’t already lost themselves!
*TOP TIP* Have all of the paperwork and ID that you need with you when you get your key. It makes the process so much quicker and easier.
Once I collected my key, my parents to help me transfer all of my stuff up to my room in South Towers. On the way to my new room I met a current student who was working for the Student’s Union to be on hand for new arrivals, making sure everything was OK. They lead us up to my new flat and showed us to my new room.
I was so grateful that he was there at that time as when I attempted to open my room’s door, it wouldn’t open. He was really helpful in sorting it out and making sure I was put at ease. I really don’t know what I would’ve done if he wasn’t there at the time!
*TOP TIP* Things might not always go to plan or the way you want them to all the time, so be ready to take things as they happen and relax.
As my parents were helping me move in, I met a few of my new flatmates I would be living with over the next year.
*TOP TIP* A door stop is really useful for new flatmates to stick their heads in and say hello.
Once everything had been moved in I had lunch with my parents before they left me to it. Only when I stepped in the lift, after they left, did it sink in that I was about to embark on a new chapter of my life at University.
*TOP TIP* When your parents have left, keep them updated if they want to know about what’s going on but make sure you’re still embracing and getting used to University life as much as possible in the first few days and weeks. A text or a call to Mum and Dad every few days will be fine!
As I had arrived so early, when I got back to my flat I was able to keep some of my new flatmates company as they unpacked. It was right there and then that we began to discover common interests and experiences. I remember my neighbour and I bonding over the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune in just the first few hours!
After I met some of my other flatmates, a few of us decided to look around the Welcome Fair that was happening on the squares. It was there where we all received an SU heirloom, which was quite cool. The video below explains the scheme really well!
In the evening, we were invited by our Residence Assistant to go to a BBQ with new arrivals in the flats near ours. Several of us ended up becoming really good friends with people who lived in the flat below us. Afterwards we arranged to all meet up in our flat that evening.
We hung out in the kitchen getting as we began to get to know one another. A few of us then proceeded to got to Sub Zero nightclub on campus for the “hashtag arrivals party” where we all met lots more newcomers.
*TOP TIP* Even if you aren’t that keen on socialising, just being in the kitchen is the best place to meet people in University accommodation. These often turn into a big meeting place for everyone to get to know each other and hang out. Everyone at the start is in the same boat; no one knows anyone and is probably as nervous as you are!
*TOP TIP* If you can, bring a good set of speakers with you and a good playlist to match. Some nice background music can make those initial awkward silences a little more bearable. But, be careful not to be anti-social with this: some people might not like your taste in music and keep it at a volume level where people can still hear each other!
Hopefully this has helped a few of you who are anxious about starting at the University soon! Welcome Week is one of the best times at University, which most people look back on with happiness.
Just make the most of it ☺