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Uni life

I am applying for uni this year in september, and i was just wondering how big is the change? Like i've heard is like major but can you describe what happens the first year of uni and the first day specially. I am quite the extrovert but how do u build up friendships in such a diverse place if all i've know is a secluded school.
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by mmonikka05
I am applying for uni next year in september, and i was just wondering how big is the change? Like i've heard is like major but can you describe what happens the first year of uni and the first day specially. I am quite the extrovert but how do u build up friendships in such a diverse place if all i've know is a secluded school.

Hi @mmonikka05

University life can differ between universities and courses. The first day for me involved meeting my tutors and course mates and learning about the course in more detail. Then in the next few weeks we began working on our first module. The first day can seem intimidating but everyone is in the same position and are probably all a bit apprehensive, so it’s good to chat to people and get involved.

From my own experience, I found the biggest change being the increased workload, and having to manage that alongside other new experiences like living in student halls and moving to a new city. But I wouldn’t say the changes weren’t manageable or impossible. Depending on whether you commute or live away from home, you may face new challenges like living with new people, cooking for yourself, and managing your time, but I’ve enjoyed figuring these things out over the past year. You also don’t have to everything figured out straight away, and you’ll find a routine that works for you as you go through the year.

I found the best way to make friends was to chat to as many people as possible and to say “yes” to as many things as possible, especially at the start of the year. Try out some societies, go to Fresher’s fairs and events, and chat to people on your course when you first start. Although you may not like everything you try, or become friends with everyone you meet, you’ll find people with similar interests and are being proactive in meeting people. I’ve also found getting a job at my university helpful as I’ve met other students that aren’t connected to my course.

I hope this helps and any questions, drop them below.
Emily
Student Ambassador at BCU
Original post by mmonikka05
I am applying for uni this year in september, and i was just wondering how big is the change? Like i've heard is like major but can you describe what happens the first year of uni and the first day specially. I am quite the extrovert but how do u build up friendships in such a diverse place if all i've know is a secluded school.


Hi @mmonikka05, that's great that you're applying for uni soon!

Yes the changes are big but they're also very exciting. Like @BCU Student Rep mentioned, the changes depend on your circumstance, whether you moved away from home or whether you have to commute in etc. What your course contact hours (teaching time) are like will determine how much self study you'll have to do. It's really about managing your time best and finding a routine that works for you. There will be some trial and error needed to find a balance between your social and academic life at uni, and that's absolutely okay! The best thing to remind yourself of is that everyone in your year will be fairly new at this too and you're all in the same boat.

A brilliant thing about the first week of uni is Fresher's week. At a fresher's fair there are plenty of opportunities to meet like minded people at the different society stands. Societies are 'clubs' that can be about sports/ hobbies/ cultures/ religions or anything really (some societies we have at Salford include a Taylor Swift Society and a Knitting society!). By enquiring and signing up for the societies that interest you, you will hopefully be able to connect with people that have similar interests and therefore make new friends.

The first day of your course will involve an introduction by your course leader and maybe a 'meet the lecturers' session. The work will be designed to settle you in slowly and over the course of your first year you'll realise that everyone is on the same level of understanding, even though you may have started with more or less knowledge about your subject.

University can be a brilliant experience, I really do hope you have the best time!
Original post by mmonikka05
I am applying for uni this year in september, and i was just wondering how big is the change? Like i've heard is like major but can you describe what happens the first year of uni and the first day specially. I am quite the extrovert but how do u build up friendships in such a diverse place if all i've know is a secluded school.

Hi there!

I graduated from Lancaster University with a BSc Natural Sciences last year and I’m doing my Mechanical Engineering MSc at the moment. I moved quite far away from home so the change was quite big, living in a completely new city with no one I’d met before so I can give my experience with what it was like.

For the first day, I arrived with all of my stuff and there were loads of people around to direct/help me and my mum with my stuff. I got my keys and a welcome pack and moved my stuff into my room. I went into town with my mum to get a food shop (some accommodation is catered but snacks/quick food is great for your first week when there is a lot of stuff going on). Then my mum headed off and I was left to meet my flat mates which was terrifying! We slowly bumped into each other in the kitchen and it was very awkward at first but we ended up living together again in second year so quickly became good friends :smile: There were also ‘Freshers reps’ who were older students who came to help us settle in. They took us to a welcome talk on the first night and told us what our first week would look like. There were subject welcome talks and lots of activities in the first week - cinema nights, nights out, freshers fair (with all of the societies). Then lectures and labs started in the second week of arriving.

Overall, it was a very exciting and very overwhelming week, I took some time to go and find quiet spots on campus which helped me to reset. Although it might seem like it would be hard to make friends, everyone is in the same boat. I started conversations with people in my lectures just by saying hi, I think everyone is scared and then relieved when they find someone to talk to. Lancaster also has a collegiate system so you slowly get to know people in your college as well as your flat. Further to all of this, if you then join societies or clubs (of which there are 100s to choose from), you can find people who have similar interests to you outside of your subject.

Best of luck with your options and let me know if you have any questions :smile:

- Bethan (Lancaster University Student Ambassador)
Original post by mmonikka05
I am applying for uni this year in september, and i was just wondering how big is the change? Like i've heard is like major but can you describe what happens the first year of uni and the first day specially. I am quite the extrovert but how do u build up friendships in such a diverse place if all i've know is a secluded school.

Hi Monika!
It's super normal to feel a bit worried about starting uni and your first few weeks, as it can be a bit of a change from school!
During the first few days, you'll have a freshers week which is like a settling in week at uni. Freshers is a great time to meet the people on your course, your flatmates and have a look at some societies that you might want to join! Societies are a great way to make friends outside your course who share similar interests!

The first week can feel a little overwhelming at first since it can be quite a big adjustment but use it to find out what works for you! The first day / week you'll meet all the tutors on your course and get a taster of all your modules. This is also a good time to start figuring out how to best manage your time (this does take a lot of trial and error though!).

My best advice for building friendships would be to have a look at facebook groups for your course so you can start to chat to the people who you'll be with for the next few years (this is how I met some of my best friends now!). This also really helps to ease those first day nerves as you'll already know a few people!

I hope this helps!
Rebecca - UCLan 3rd Year

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