I am final year student, and still get that at nervous anxious feeling that all new students suffer from. Although, it could be due to the fact that the last time I was on campus I was a first-year student (thanks pandemic!) Remember when moving to university you are not the only one who feels this way. Everyone feels awkward and nervous because the experience of university is unique, especially if you are an international student or a student that is moving to university away from home like me. I made a goal for myself this year to try and be more social. The best place to start with that is with your flatmates and chances are your flatmates are just as nervous as you.
Getting familiar with your environment
I invited my flatmates out on a Poole harbour tour, and we all had such a great time. Like every other student knows money does not grow on trees, no matter how many houseplants you own. So, me and my friend decided to explore our new surroundings, we travelled to local parks and shopping centres, high streets and museums and harbours I think it helped to get familiar with the new environment and also to get out of my room and feel productive.
I also have some recommendations from my experience on how to get more involved, creating new friendships, memories and gaining new experience on your CV. Firstly, I recommend trying to engage with your fellow students on your course, these bonds might last the longest and also will come in handy during assignment work, you can do this by engaging in lessons and any seminar activities and it would really be helpful to reach out to either create or join a group chat for your course/seminar.
Societies and clubs
Another tip I have gained from my time in university is signing up to societies and clubs, these could either be cultural, for your faith or your home country if you’re looking to meet people who have a similar background to you. However, there are also plenty of societies for fun hobbies and interests, plenty of activities for pros and novices alike, sign up and have fun. The meetings for each society vary depending on which one you pick but there is a fun collection of activities and interests to choose from.
Another thing I recommend is signing up the liberation campaigns which help support and minorities transitions into university. I personally have more experience with liberation campaigns instead of societies because of the pandemic but I am hoping to change that this year. I had an amazing time campaigning with the Arab, Asian and Ethnic Minority Liberation campaign, we got to host several get-togethers and it was a fun time to socialise and meet people who were similar to me. It also gave me an excuse to get out of the house, become more familiar with my surroundings and it allowed campus to just feel that one step closer to home.
Another tip is to volunteer, the SUBU website boasts a range of options. This includes societies and clubs, Liberation campaigns but also amazing volunteering opportunities. These can be filtered down specifically for your course or you could do something out of your comfort zone. Even before the pandemic the website had options for virtual volunteering, so everyone could find an option to suit them. Like many of my other tips this is way to socialise and familiarise yourself with your surroundings, but you also help people in need or build your CV whilst studying at University.
I have mentioned some things that university has to offer but there are some other choices like attending parties which is completely up to you, like the other options they are a really good way to make new friends and get out there. Please remember don’t feel pressured to drink or party, it’s not for everyone and that’s perfectly fine. Also remember that your university career could last from 1 – 4 years, give it some time and you will adjust and adapt and enjoy your time at university.
Thank you to our Young Ambassador Amaan for writing this informative and personal blog on starting university.
Need more support?
If you are struggling with starting at university we offer a Wellbeing Check – in service, where you will be matched with a volunteer who will check in with you every week. You can find out more about this service on our website.