News and tips
Posted on Wednesday, 26th September 2018
September is, rather scarily, almost over, the long summer days are but a distant memory, and everybody is back in to their routines of work, school, college and University.
But what if this is your first year? What if you have only just started and now that Freshers week is over, you have to actually knuckle down and get into your own new routine that you have never experienced before?
You could be feeling a bit like a fish out of water, and the excited, nervous energy you had previously about flying the nest and starting a new independent life has suddenly given way to a vacuous, rather anxious mood. One where everything is new; your learning environment, your friends, your home, your whole way of life is suddenly… well, different!
If this is how you are feeling right now, don’t worry, you are not on your own, in fact, go get yourself a coffee, pull up a chair, and read on for a few top tips on how to make the next year of your life fun, exciting and worthwhile. You’re at Uni now, you’re going to be great!
This might sound blindingly obvious, but to some people, it is not as simple as it sounds. When you start Uni for the first time, you are, once again, the newbie. You don’t know much about anything, and you are surrounded by people you don’t know, in a place you are unfamiliar with.
It’s okay, this is exactly the same for every other first-year student. The only difference being that some might have stayed closer to home and know the area or have an existing group of friends.
Well, there is a reason you picked your particular Uni, and generally, the reason is because it was right for YOU.
It offered the right course and you fell in love with the ‘feel’ of the place, so now is the right time go forth and find other students who are in exactly the same position!
Freshers week should have helped you meet lots of new friends already, but what if you find it a bit more difficult to socialise? Or If you find the prospect of meeting new people a bit daunting? Well, it’s worth remembering that it is okay not to be the ‘life and soul’ person who seems to be at every event and every party going. That’s up to them, and if they are happy keeping up that exhausting lifestyle that’s great, but this is about you, your future, not theirs.
So be honest with yourself about what it is you enjoy and find a society at one of the Unions (HUBS or SU Union) where there will be similar like-minded individuals. If it’s knitting, great. If it’s gaming, good for you, do it. If it’s poetry perfect! The point is, you do not have to feel isolated. There are hundreds of people attend your University, so chances are there will be a club out there for you to enjoy and meet new friends.
There are literally clubs and societies to suit everyone, and if there isn’t a club for you to join, then form one. Get in touch with Student Services and push your agenda and idea in a positive way. They are there to help you feel as comfortable and as welcome as possible, and you could come up with something that could turn out to be really successful! Imagine that on your C.V when you are applying for jobs or furthering your studies?
This is always going to cause some levels of stress as you are moving into either the halls or to your shared accommodation and meeting your roommates for the first time. It will all be fine of course, and you will probably all on like a house on fire, but to keep your anxieties to a minimum remember it is okay to have your boundaries. Don’t feel like you are the only one responsible for your shared space, and if you feel like you are being taken advantage of in any way, speak up, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that if you are unhappy about something.
Chances are, you have moved to a new city, so this gives you the perfect opportunity to get out and explore and learn about the environment where you stay. Find out about its history and development. Locate the cinema’s and museums, find out where the best thrift shops are. (This is great for nurturing your creative side, as well as keeping to your new strict budgeting regime).
Discover where the best bars are, (for you don’t forget – don’t just follow the crowd because you feel like you should), find those quirky little cafes that are open late and do delicious, well priced food for when you want to meet up with your new mates.
There is so much opportunity for discovery, you’ll wonder what you were doing with your time before all of this was available!
Yes, this is important. Create yourself am accademic study plan.
If you have come from a sixth form especially, where it is still a bit ‘schoolie’, it’s important to remember if you want to ‘adult’ you’ve got to take responsibility for the way your new course progresses. Burying your head in the sand and thinking somebody else will do it for you won’t cut it now you are at University.
Making sure you have your lectures and your deadline dates set out in your diary or on in a planner somewhere is crucial to your success. Work backwards from when your essays are due and be realistic about how much you will research and write up each week towards your final submission. If you leave it thinking you can cram everything in the last two weeks you are honestly setting yourself up to fail, and you owe it to yourself to make this work.
By forming good study habits at the start of University life will make it all so much easier for you, especially as the course will get harder as you advance on to the second and third year.