Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Quick Guide to Starting University

Student Orientation
Student Orientation (Photo credit: Tulane Public Relations)
by Louise Nelhams

Those first few weeks at university can be a terrifying prospect; countless new people to meet, a whole new place to explore, a level of freedom you've never had before ... all of these things can add up and make you feel a little freaked out!

Don't get too stressed out though - hundreds of thousands of people have managed to get through it themselves, so follow a few of their simple rules and you'll survive it all too.

Remember that like most people before you, once you've got over those first few 'teething problems', you're going to love it!

Put a smile on your face and say hi!

First of all, once you've arrived at your student digs, don't be afraid to wander about and see who's around. Remember, they're all in the same boat as you, so whether you're in halls of residence or sharing a student house with other tenants, just be friendly.

Don't worry about being the first to start a conversation; many lifelong friends have been made with a simple hello, and you may find that others are relieved they don't have to make the first move.

Once you're unpacked and settled, it's time to start exploring your surroundings a little more. Get to know your university's campus. If you happen to be a bit of a distance away from it, find out what times the buses run there and back; it may sound like simple advice, but there's nothing worse than missing the first part of your first lecture and getting glared at by your tutor for the next three years!

See what's on offer to entertain you

Throw yourself into the fun and games of Freshers' Week but remember not to let things get too messy! Most universities will have information about events on their Student Union websites, so be sure to check them in advance so you can work out what you'd like to actually do.

Don't just head straight to the bar, get tanked and then end up forgetting what your entire first week at university was actually like - use it as an ice-breaker and a bit of fun, but don't end up in A&E! There's always a horror story in those first few weeks, so don't let it be about you.

The most basic piece of advice is to just relax and take things easy. Sure, you'll be working incredibly hard, but there's no need for you to get too stressed out about things. Talk to people and rely on the support of your new friends - you can be sure that they'll be looking for you to help them out too.

It's a busy, exciting time, but you don't need to do everything in the first few weeks. Oh, and make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you'll be doing an awful lot of standing about and walking around - seriously!

Find out more about student digs

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