The summer will soon be over and it is time to think about preparing for university. It’s the start of a new phase in your life and there are many things to consider. Bangor University has put together a guide to help you overcome the challenges of the first few weeks at uni.
For many of you, this is probably the first time you’re moving away from home, which is a reason in itself to make the most of your time at university. Most new students choose to live in halls of residence during their first year as it’s the best way to make new friends and settle in to your new life.
Living in halls is a great opportunity for you to develop independence in a supportive environment – you don’t have to worry about dealing with landlords or juggle bills and there are usually staff around to help you if you have any issues.
If you’re worried about missing your home comforts, Bangor University student vlogger Hannah has some tips on making your room more homely.
Before you start packing for your big move, think about what you really need to take with you. Remember that you will only have a limited amount of space in your room, so if you don’t think you’ll need something – ditch it!
Here are some tips on How to create space and storage in your room and avoid clutter.
Here’s a list of some of the essentials you’re likely to need when moving into halls…
For your bedroom
- Duvet and pillows
- Bed covers
- Bathmat – if you’re in an en-suite room
- Pictures and posters
For your kitchen
- Plates, bowls and cups
- Saucepan and frying pan
- Tea towels
If you’ve already been in touch with some of your flatmates through forums or Facebook groups a good tip is to co-ordinate in advance what you need for the kitchen. You can make a list and divide it between you, so that you share essential items rather than everyone bringing their own.
You’ll find lots of advice on How to Settle-in at Uni on our Get Ready For University YouTube channel.
Your first week
Welcome Week – also known as Orientation Week and Freshers’ Week – is your first week at university and there are usually no formal lectures, just lots of activities to help you make friends, find your way around, meet your lecturers and ease your way into university life.
A few weeks before you start university you may be sent a diary which lists the events that take place during the week. At Bangor University some events such as the formal welcome from the Vice-Chancellor and welcome meetings with Academic Schools are mandatory so it’s a good idea to read the diary carefully.
The best way to make the most of Welcome Week is by getting involved with activities organised by the university and students’ union.
Bangor University student vlogger Hannah says: “One of the main events during Welcome Week is the Freshers' Fair, which is where you get to join clubs and societies, get loads of freebies and find out what will be going on throughout the year. It's also your chance to sign-up for taster sessions, so try as much as you can!”
“You'll also have introductory lectures for your course so you can get an idea about what you're going to be doing over the year. Go to as many sessions as possible – it’s the perfect opportunity for you to learn as much as you can about the university before you start a full timetable of lectures and seminars.
“Familiarise yourself with your surroundings, so you know where the local shops are and the best clubs and pubs. You should also sign-up to your doctor and get to know where the local hospital is.
“This is also the perfect week for you to learn how to cook basic recipes. Don't binge on takeaways, as your money will soon be gone if you spend it all on eating and drinking!”
Help and support
It is perfectly normal to feel homesick during your first few weeks – nearly everyone will be feeling the same way. It is often when you start settling-into university life and the excitement of Welcome Week is over that homesickness hits you.
Try to distract yourself by meeting friends and talking to others about how you’re feeling. If you’re still struggling, talk to your personal tutor or visit the university’s student services department, who have a team of professional advisors that you can talk to about any issues you’re experiencing.
Above all, your first weeks at uni are about having fun, meeting new people and easing your way into student life. So make the most of it!