The student experience can be an overwhelming one. You can research and prepare as much as you can, but it’s hard to know ahead of time how it’s going to feel. Those first days are going to be a great unknown as you go into them, so today we’re trying to shed a little light on them so you’ll feel more comfortable about what you have in store.
Whether you’re studying at Cambridge and staying in rooms once inhabited by Stephen Fry or Emma Thompson or you’re living in student accommodation in Sheffield, moving in day is going to be similar.
Students will be arriving, driven by parents or friends, and unloading in the carpark outside the halls of residence. Once you’ve found your room it’s a race to unpack and get everything it’s proper place so you can usher your parents away and really begin to settle in. It’s hard to make friends while saying a tearful farewell to your family.
While you’re unpacking, try keeping your door propped open so you can greet people as they pass. Have some tea or coffee ready to brew – it’s a good way to break the ice on that first day.
Sign ups, registrations and orientations
You don’t have any lectures to worry about for the time being. Initially, you’ll be focused on getting oriented at your new university. Fortunately, there will be events laid on to help you do this – your course tutors will be handing out timetables and reading lists, and likely there will be tours to help you find the rooms and buildings you need to get. Take the time to have a look around and make sure you know where all your lectures and seminars are.
During this time it’s also worth registering with a campus doctor or health centre – your student union will likely be pointing the way to one that’s used to dealing with the specific needs of students. Going with all the people in your flat or corridor in your residence is another good way to bond.
Clubs and Societies
It’s in this initial week that clubs and societies will be especially welcoming to new members! Have a look at the website for the clubs you’re interested in and go along to their new member’s meetings. Even if you don’t end up joining, you’ll still meet some interesting people.
If you don’t know what’s on offer, there’ll probably be an event like the ‘bunfight’ or the ‘fresher’s fair’, with all the clubs offered a stall so you can tour round, chat to people and find out what’s on offer.
With these important social foundations set, you’ll be all ready to start your more serious academic responsibilities.