Here are a few steps you can take to ease yourself gently into University life, as recommended by students who have gone through the experience:
Arrive in good time
It’s a good idea to arrive early on the first day and spend some time settling into your room. The first few days are chaotic, so you probably won’t get the chance again until the end of freshers’ week. Unpacking with your door propped open means you get to at least smile at your neighbours as they go through the same process as you.
Make sure you know beforehand where you have to be and at what time. Don’t be afraid to ask if you aren’t sure where you should be going!
This is really important. It always looks like everyone else is more in control than you are, but everyone is in the same boat and probably feeling just as confused as you are!
Anyone for tea?
Take the initiative and take the opportunity to make yourself known. Go for lunch with people, buy tea bags and offer whoever’s about cups of tea. You will find that these first, often awkward conversations result in some of the most lasting friendships.
Don’t miss out
Never feel excluded. If you hear rumours that something is going on, don’t wait for someone to invite you – just turn up, or tag along. Freshers’ week is not the time to be shy. It is a general free for all, and there will be plenty of other stuff to do.
Ask for help
Don’t ever stop to think about asking for help if you need it.
Leave yourself enough time for the Freshers’ Fair, and sign up to absolutely everything that appeals to you. The result of this afternoon of madness will be several useless free gifts and an inbox full of annoying e-mails from societies you don’t even remember signing on with.
However, at least some of the activities you signed up for will reveal talents you never even knew you wanted, let alone had.
‘When I flew over from America I remember being very nervous an feeling kind of out of place until a group of second year students invited me to ‘tea’ (a novel experience for an American) in one of their rooms. We sat for hours chatting and I found out all the gossip!’- Ginny, Archaeology and Anthropology.
‘In my first term, I met lots of friendly people, especially in Corpus itself, as it is so small that you can get to know most of the people in college. The older years were also really welcoming and helped make us feel at home as a year really quickly.’- Andy, Mathematics