It is said that the first steps we take in life are the most important. Every period of time has a start and an end and sometimes we seem to forget the ‘middle’, which ironically is the best part of our life! In my first term I used to think that it is really important to have goals and that’s why I got involved in so many things that I thought would help me in the future. I was so excited because I finally knew what I want to do with my life and because of that I signed up for a lot of things.
That was the moment when I understood that in order to achieve your goals you need a lot of time and patience. If you try to do it all at once you will probably end up a bit overwhelmed, but if you take them slow, even though it might not work the first time (or the second), it will certainly work out in the end! So, considering you are a new student, here are some tips to get a good start at uni while also having fun… a lot of fun.
- Walk on campus
If you don’t know where to go, what to do and when are the fun events coming, just go and take a walk on university’s campus to see what’s going on. You might be surprised to find out that so many things happen during the week. Welcome Week, in particular, is one of the best times on campus. Everyone is trying to help you, there are tours organised by the university to see the most important places on campus, there’s free food, games, and lots of other things.
- Take a look at all the fresher’s handbooks
Take a closer look at what’s going on inside the buildings, take a look at the handbooks from your department and all the flyers with events during the welcome week. Some of them, once you sign up, can keep you busy for the rest of the year (in a good way of course). There are always talks organised by departments, meetings with Personal Tutors or some welcome events for freshers. Everyone wants to make you feel like home because you are already a part of the family.
- Just play
One of the most fun things that you can do in the beginning is the Just play sessions. You can sign up for a sport you already like, or you can go wild and try something completely random like fencing. Who knows, you might actually like it and come back for additional classes (like I did!). Just play sessions are made for anyone who wants to have fun and try something new, or it can just be a great way to spend your spare time. Don’t hesitate to sign up for those!
- Join societies
It’s hard to make friends with the same interests as yours when you don’t know where to find them. That’s what societies are for! You can join as many societies as you like and meet like-minded people with similar interests and hobbies. Up to this date I still do not regret joining the Harry Potter society, no matter how quirky it may sound (hmm.. maybe the fact that my nickname is Draco helped a lot as well).
- Peer mentors
The Peer Mentoring scheme is a great idea made to help first-year students to get to know the practical information about departments and campus facilities. If you don’t know who your Peer Mentor is, just ask your department and they will help you to find out. You can get valuable information from second and third-year students and they can provide you with information about anything you need to know.
So in the end, what I advise you is, please don’t spend all your time in your room! If the weather is nice, go for a walk and find out what’s happening on campus (there’s always something!). If it’s cold and raining, go inside to listen to some talks or meet up somewhere warm on campus with your new friends. Don’t isolate yourself. It’s good to know from the beginning all the important places to go, and all the activities you can get involved in. So, go ahead, meet new people, get out of your comfort zone and I promise you, it will be worth it!