I don’t think I need to tell you that starting University is a daunting but exciting experience. On the way, though, I found that there were a couple of things I wished I’d known to make it even better. I really hope nobody else is in the same place, but just in case you are this is my little list of (sometimes slightly embarrassing) things I learned that I think you should know.
1. No question is too stupid to ask someone about if you’re not sure.
Actually, I found this out pretty early on when I had to ask where the toilets were in the Student Union during Orientation Week, and then again when the I.C. ladies had to show me how to work the big soup flask thingies. Honestly though, everyone I’ve asked questions to has been happy to answer them even if I thought they were daft.
2. It’s worth waiting in line for an hour to join a society you’re really keen on.
I went to the Freshers fair at lunch, saw the queues and decided to come back when it died down… and ended up being pulled into department activities and not getting to sign up for anything. Fortunately this can be remedied! You can sign up through the Students Union website pretty easily, but honestly you should try to speak to the reps of the societies you’re interested in at the event in Freshers Week.
3. Freshers Week is not all about drinking.
Haha, well this one is for my fellow non-drinkers more than anyone else. I was a bit daft and thought that since the only thing that people were giving out flyers for were club nights then that must be what Freshers is all about. Then, about a week after I pick up a “Give it a Go” booklet from near the reception and lo and behold; tonnes of weird and wonderful activities to get stuck into!
4. It’s okay to walk into the wrong seminar!
Ah. In my own defence, apparently this is pretty common – so I can’t be the only one who’s ever gone to the wrong room for a seminar…. though that being said I’m probably the only one who has ever stayed for the whole thing and moved groups to make the seminar I was accidentally in one that I’m supposed to be in… Anyway, in the first week it’s not really an issue, the tutors know that you are still just finding your feet, so if you do end up in the wrong room don’t fret, just walk out (or join the group like I did if you want!).
5. Western Bank Library is beautiful.
This is more of an academic one. The IC is great and it’ll have most of the stuff on your required reading list in there, but I still think more people should use Western Bank. Its quiet so you can get your work done away from the noise. Also, in the four weeks I’ve been using both libraries I found that you tend to be able to loan Western Bank books for longer because they’re not in such high demand.