Arriving at uni for the first time, you’ll probably feel a bit like you did on your first day at primary school.
You might be a bit keener to say goodbye to the parents but don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel a tiny bit panicked. It’s natural that you might have mixed feelings when you actually face independence for the first time.
Your first day will keep you busy – you’ll be unpacking, learning names, forgetting them, getting lost, accepting Facebook friends, swapping numbers and generally rushing around. At times you might wish you were somewhere else, at other times you’ll wish the week could go on forever.
That’s normal. It’s stressful to move to a new place, start a new course and meet hundreds of new people all within one very busy week.
Arriving at uni: what to expect
When you arrive head wherever you are going to live. If you’re in halls, there will probably be a stand set up to welcome you and tell you where to go. If you’re living in private accommodation, remember to arrange when and where you will pick up the key.
Once you’ve arrived in your room, it’s a good idea to start unpacking as soon as possible. Ask any friends or family who have come with you to help you to unpack before they go, because once your room starts looking nice and homely, you’ll feel much happier about settling in.
If you’re living in a shared flat or house rather than halls, spend a few hours getting to know your new housemates. Don’t start talking about kitchen cleaning rotas just yet – just get to know each other and find things you have in common first.
If you do find yourself feeling homesick don’t worry it’s normal and you’ll soon start having fun. The thing about freshers’ week is that students and staff will be extra friendly and willing to help out, and give you directions, or dole out advice. So relax, and prepare for a fantastic beginning to your university career.
Do’s and don’ts for Freshers’ Week
· Call home – your parents will want to know you’re OK, and you’ll feel better knowing someone is on the end of a phone.
· Register with a local doctor and dentist
· Write down the details of your uni’s IT support helpline. Useful for when you lose your 5000-word essay ten minutes before deadline.
· Do attend all the meetings that have been scheduled since they will probably be where you sign up for modules, receive passwords and organise your timetable.
· Feel like it’s the end of the world if you don’t join in with absolutely everything.
· Don’t accept your accommodation if you’re unhappy. Speak to the housing ofﬁcer sooner rather than later.
· Don’t panic if you think you don’t ﬁt in – it’s early days and you’re bound to make friends soon.
· Don’t forget your old friends – after a month or so, when you’re settled in, invite them to stay with you and introduce them to your new mates.
By Lucy Tobin, author of A Guide Uni Life.