This time 7 years ago I began preparing for my move to university. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, so here is a collection of memories and some tips for preparing for university and making the most of the all-important first few weeks.
Preparing for university
I spent months and months slowly building a collection of household items ready for my move to university in September. In reality you really don’t need to worry about this and you risk having 6 of some things and none of others when you move into your flat. Instead, focus on treasured items to remind you of home and keep you positive in the first few months of settling in. A cosy pair of slippers is always a winner, and some photos of family and friends.
Make sure you have familiarised yourself with the ‘paperwork’ side of things; student bank accounts, accommodation information, university registration and such like. It saves a lot of time doing menial tasks when you could be socialising with new groups of people in those first few days/weeks.
Have an idea of the fresher’s week programme before you arrive. There is so much information online on the run up to and during the start of term, so having an idea of events/talks you want to attend saves missing something useful.
Making the most of the first few weeks
Try to get involved with as many things as possible and meet lots of new people. The first week is a really important time to get to know people and build on friendships. Surrounding yourself with people you feel comfortable with will make it so much easier to settle in.
Join lots of societies! It is the perfect time to try something new. Don’t restrict yourself to sports/activities you are familiar with. The societies are there for you to enjoy and existing members are always happy to get you up to speed.
Take time to explore your surroundings before the start of teaching weeks. Try to familiarise yourself with the location of buildings and lecture theatres that you are likely to be visiting regularly. You will have access to your timetable at the start of term, so grab a few course mates and take yourselves off for a campus exploration.
Don’t forget to explore the city centre and beyond too. We are lucky in Plymouth to have the campus so close to the city centre and to the waterfront. Go exploring and enjoy yourselves! It’s a perfect thing to do while getting to know your flatmates and ease any tensions.
Lastly, the first few weeks of term are usually very hectic, so don’t worry if there are things you’ve missed or societies you haven’t yet joined. It is never too late! Enjoy!