After a long summer, it’s finally time to start uni. You’ve unpacked, called dibs on a kitchen cupboard, and started getting bearings in a new town or city. So what now? What’s freshers’ week? And will you have to tell everyone where you’re from and what you’re studying forever? Welcome to the student life!
Before your lectures, seminars and nights out start in earnest, you’ll probably have a few life-admin things to contend with. It might seem boring at times, but getting set up to live in your new home is the best thing you can do to save yourself a load of stress later on.
Every uni’s enrolment will be different, but you should get clear instructions on where and when to sign up for the things that matter – including a GP and dentist, if you’ve moved away from home. This might involve a bit of queuing from time to time, but there are worse ways to start chatting to your new course-mates.
This first week is also the right time to get familiar with campus and its services, including libraries, shops, and your nearest launderette. And yep, this research should definitely include local cafes, bars, clubs and places to eat.
On that note, now is the time to start finding your people. Get out there, online or in person, and make an effort find the groups, sports teams and societies whose interests match yours.
The best advice, though, is to remember that you’re managing your own time from here. Self-starting is a major part of learning at uni, so you’ll need to be fairly disciplined with study and assignment time between lectures. Equally, you’ll have a bit more life admin to sort out – remember to make to-do lists, use your calendar app, or simply email yourself reminders.
And don’t forget: while uni is often an amazing, fun experience, it’s totally OK to feel overwhelmed or stressed out. If you ever feel this way, make sure to reach out to the people who care about you.
If you’re moving into shared accommodation, you might feel nervous about meeting your new housemates. Keep in mind that they’ll likely feel exactly the same – so try to relax and be yourself. One thing that might help is to wedge your door open. This way, people can easily pop their heads in and say hi.
It goes without saying that you’ll want to be polite and friendly to people, but you’ll also make fast friends if you ask about your housemates’ interests. It takes all sorts, after all.
One last tip if you’re moving into shared accommodation… Even before you’ve unpacked, make sure you take a good look around, take photos of anything that looks damaged, and report any problems to the management or your landlord. It’s the best way to make sure you won’t be held accountable for any issues when it comes to next summer, or whenever it is you move on. And it means you’ll protect all of that all-important deposit, too.
For more tips on getting the most out of your uni experience, keep an eye on our blog over the coming weeks.