Hello and welcome! You’re not going to forget the next few weeks of your life – ever – so make sure that they live in your mind for good reasons. You might be tempted to think that after all the stress of the UCAS application and the A Levels you can put your feet up. Well, not really! Here’s my guide to making the best possible start with the rest of your life.
For most students this is the single most important thing for the start of your time at university. Be confident in who you are and look for friends who share your interests, if you’re a party animal then you’re probably going to want to be out partying – great! If that’s really not for you, don’t feel obliged to try to be someone you’re not. Look for activities which do interest you. You’ll normally find the like-minded people you’ll be happiest with want to do the same things as you. Give yourself time and space to make friends, it isn’t going to happen overnight.
Get engaged with your course
Go along to the things being put on by your department. It’s not a great idea to cut lectures in the first couple of weeks. Departmental staff have thought through what they want to say to you and will be delivering some messages they think are really important. If you miss the talk on plagiarism and then offend against the rules, you won’t get any sympathy! Don’t miss the department socials either, it’s good to get to know those on your course and academic staff. You might also be able to engage with students in the years above you.
You’re not going to do well in the degree without some reading, so work out where the library is and look out for library tours. It’s worth knowing where the health centre and university support services are located too and try to get an idea of the layout of campus.If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to know where the coffee shops are too! You’ll soon be needing to dash across campus and it’s great if you know which direction you need to dash in!
Get to the Society Fair
This is a must. Go along and join some clubs. If you’re a musician or sportsperson there’ll be things you definitely want to join but you could try something else too. Maybe this is the moment to try debating or quidditch? The choice is yours.
You can sometimes feel bombarded with communication at university but it so worth making sure that you’re plugged in to get the information you need. Follow the department and careers on Facebook and Twitter.
Have a wonderful time!