Starting university or college this month? Fresher’s weeks are great opportunities to find out about your new study environment. Here are some pointers on what not to miss…
Visit the Union
The union will be your social hub. Most unions are a meeting place for groups and societies all over the uni and have loads of great facilities like cafeterias offering cheap eats, coffee shops, bars and chill-out areas. Unions are plastered with posters advertising societies, upcoming events and also advice and warnings about how you should get help and what behaviour isn’t tolerated. It is a great place to pick up flyers offering student discounts for shops and restaurants around town and also to advertise anything or find people offering services such as English tutoring or proof-reading. There will always be someone in the reception to help you out.
Get Your Student Card
As well as getting you into the library, computer labs and exams, your student card is your golden ticket to discounts absolutely EVERYWHERE! From McDonald’s to Topshop and club nights, you will benefit from cheap prices because you are student. If you haven’t already submitted a photo, you will have an allocated time slot for getting one taken. DON’T MISS IT! And make a bit of effort with your appearance because this photo will last the duration of your time at uni or college. Sadly most institutions don’t care that you came in with noodles in your hair and a hangover face that looks like a melted welly – that photo is with you for life! Whether or not you were at a foam party until 4am night before, drag yourself to registration and get that picture – don’t get left behind.
Go to the Sports Fair
New place, new you! University or college is a chance to reinvent yourself and the sports fair is a fantastic opportunity to see what new sports and activities you could get involved in. From snowsports to skydiving, you’ll never believe what clubs are on offer. Sports fairs are usually held in big halls and each society will have a table with information booklets, badges and, most importantly, members of the society to chat to. These are the people who are so passionate about their activity that they’ve either been voted onto a committee to promote and organise it or they’ve just taken time out of their day to offer you their advice. You’ll be surprised what new ventures you discover, so get yourself down there.
So you’ve waved goodbye to your parents, unpacked the essentials and met your new flatmates. Now it’s time to get out see what your new surroundings have to offer. Take a stroll around campus and familiarise yourself with the layout – if there’s an emergency you need to know who to speak to. Similarly, if you have one too many pints at the union, you don’t want to be found kipping on a neighbour’s front doorstep and escorted home by campus security. Fresher’s week is usually action packed and whether too many takeaways give you a funny tummy or you take a tumble busting moves on the dancefloor, activities will take their toll on your body and the infamous fresher’s flu might get you. So know where your nearest pharmacist is. Find out how long it will take you to walk back from town to your residence, and whether it’s safe to do at night. Take the numbers of all your flatmates just in case. Avoid carrying shopping bags for miles and suss out your nearest supermarket and bank. And when you’re ready to be healthy after a wild week, find your gym!
Visit the library
Your schedule may be bursting with club nights and social activities this week, but before classes get started it’s a good idea to check out the library. You’ll find that it’s an enormous place place compared to your school library, with vast corridors of books on just about every subject under the sun. Taking out a book can be a daunting process in some places, so ask how it’s done and see if you can get any course books from there instead of buying them from the uni bookshop or online – so when you get that reading list in your first week of lectures, be THAT guy and hot foot it to the library to take out a copy before anyone else has the chance. Libraries are usually the place to find IT help too. You will be connected to the university network, so be careful with illegal or dodgy downloads. The library will also be close to the university bookshop where you can get books (obviously), stationary and that all-important uni hoody to show off to your pals!