Starting your first year at University away from home, can be very daunting. However, there are many ways to make it less intimidating. Here are some things you should take away with you from my first year experience at University.
When you move into student accommodation, I’d strongly recommend getting to know your flatmates and deciding who is bringing what (e.g. pots and pans), so that you don’t end up with 28 frying pans. You’re all in the same boat so don’t worry too much about it! DIGS have Official Facebook Groups you can join so you can find your flat makes before moving.
*Your request is approved when you have made an application with DIGS and have been allocated a room*
*Our Facebook Groups:
Once you’ve moved in, get yourself out there and go to some fresher’s events – Fresher’s is the perfect opportunity to make new friends and to feel less intimidated – even if you don’t drink, there’s plenty of events to go to and a whole student experience programme to get involved in.
First Year Essentials
No idea what to bring with you on your first day? No problem, I’ve got you. Either a pen and paper or a laptop is perfectly fine, maybe even bring some highlighters just in case! Make sure you note down any important bits of information and take note of how your year will be structured in your first few lectures. Don’t worry too much about writing everything down, shorthand is fine and the PowerPoint will be uploaded to your online University student portal.
Also, throughout the first week of University, there are so many different freebies and goodies you can get at the Fresher’s fair – who doesn’t love free stuff? You know you have done Fresher’s fair right if you come out with several tote bags fully of goodies.
Once you have met new friends at your student accommodation and on your course, I’d suggest making a personal time table that is in line with your University schedule. This will enable you to do everything you want to do alongside getting your work done. It can be difficult to stick to deadlines, so make sure you use the library and study spaces that are available to use! If I could go back to my first year, I would’ve used the library a lot more. Booking study rooms with your friends can help out a bunch – especially if you’re doing group work!
Have fun and look after yourself. Make sure you’re taking time to look after yourself and your friends. Take note of any hotlines or contacts in case you struggle at some point with your mental health. The university wellbeing team are there to listen and will try and support you the best that they can, so will your tutors so make sure you reach out to people. You aren’t alone and can speak out no matter what. Even if it’s to a flatmate, a block rep, a DIGS member of staff or a doctor, we are all here to listen and to make sure you love your time at University.
Don’t feel pressured to drink if you don’t want to. Drinking culture can be quite a big thing at university, and a lot of Fresher’s struggle with peer pressure when it comes to drinking. Just know that you don’t have to drink anything alcoholic if you don’t want to, just have as much fun as you can, it’s no big deal if you drink water instead of vodka. Your liver will probably thank you for it too.
By AG, student living at DIGS Storthes Hall Park