Today we have guest blogger Helen Anderson from the Residence Life Team sharing her wisdom and providing you all with information about all things Freshers’ Week.
Here are a few things to bear in mind…
Do take a look at the Freshers’ Week events and think about what you’d like to do. There are over 800 different events with tons of variety, so there’s something for everyone (and over 80% of the events don’t involve alcohol, so please don’t worry if you don’t want to drink – you’ll still have lots to do).
Don’t try to go to all 800. That won’t end well. There’s so much going on in Freshers’ Week that it can be a bit overwhelming, so pace yourself, focus on any events you particularly want to go to, and remember there will be plenty of other chances to connect with societies and student groups throughout the year.
Do introduce yourself to people. Knocking on your neighbours’ doors with a packet of biscuits and offering to make them a cup of tea is a great starting point.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’ve immediately met your best friends for life. I’m still really good friends with lots of people I met at uni, but I didn’t meet them all in the first week – I don’t even remember how I know half of them. They just sort of happened. It does take time to get to know people, and that’s completely normal and OK.
Do use the week as a chance to explore and get settled. Visit the library. Figure out the route into town. Check out the beautiful campus. Make sure you’ve done everything you need to do so you’re ready for the start of term.
Don’t feel obliged to have the Best Time Ever!!! in Freshers’ Week. People tend to describe it as this amazing experience that’s practically the ultimate pinnacle of human existence which, if you think about it, is a bit much for it to live up to. In real life, it involves moving house, leaving behind friends and family to live in a new city (or country), and taking on new responsibilities you may not have had to deal with before. I don’t especially associate sock laundry and doing the hoovering with non-stop fun, if I’m honest. If you don’t feel that you’re instantly having a wonderful time, it’s not you. You aren’t doing it wrong. It’s just quite an intense week, and things start to feel more settled once you’ve been here a while.
Do reach out to friends and family to let them know how you’re getting on. (It’s a good idea to agree when you’ll be in touch, and how often – that saves me getting a panicked phone call from your mum/grandma/uncle Bob because they haven’t heard from you and think something terrible must have happened.)
Don’t forget that what you’re seeing on your friends’ social media represents the bits of their Freshers’ Week experience they’re sharing. They are probably not showing you the sock laundry and hoovering parts, or the moments where they feel a bit unsettled and weird about being in a new place.
Do make use of the Welcome Team (you’ll see them around in bright pink t-shirts) and the Residence Life Team. They’re all current students who know what it’s like to come to uni, and they’re here to help with any questions or worries.
Hopefully the above tips will help you to make the most of Freshers’ Week – we’re really looking forward to meeting you all then.
Residence Life Helen