Your first weeks at your new University – Freshers and your Future!
Your first weeks at university certainly have to be up there as one of the most memorable experiences of your life. A new city, new friends and your future career ahead of you. That said, the whirlwind of excitement, fresh faces and the adult world can be a little overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be! Here are three important highlights to help you as you start your new journey.
Be confident, friendly and open
Take advantage of the fact that you’ll be meeting a huge range of new people from all walks of life - and even corners of the globe - who are looking to make friends too. Though it may seem daunting, take a breath and put yourself out there with a positive mindset. Obviously, it’s not as straightforward as that, but just remember: everyone is in the same boat! Though it may be scary showing up to social events where you may have never met anyone, don’t worry, because almost everyone else there will be feeling the same way too. Approach it all with a smile, accept as many invitations as you feel able to, and throw yourself in. Freshers may be a whirlwind and over before you know it but keep up the socialising mind-set afterwards too. University is where you make friends for life!
Get to know your neighbourhood, city and how things work – it will help you settle in
Studying in London is an experience like no other; there’s a reason why London is a global hub. Take some time to explore, whether with your newfound friends or even alone if you need some space to reflect. The first few weeks provide ample opportunity for this. Finding little areas you can call ‘your own’ can really help you settle in to a new city too;¬ it can help you acclimatise to the pace of life and will do wonders for your mindfulness and inner self. Get to know your local neighbourhood too: scout out the food shops, clothes stores, pharmacists, your local GP surgery and the best place to get coffee with your housemates or friends. It will reduce worries if you quickly need something one day, want to escape somewhere or if something goes a little pear-shaped!
Most importantly – be smart and safe
Starting university is one of the most amazing moments in your life. Any hesitancy or worries will almost certainly be swept away as you step into a new world of discoveries and unforgettable moments! However, it almost goes without saying, be mindful that being smart, savvy and keeping yourself safe and well is a must. The financial figures involved in moving to and starting university can be a little scary, but be frugal and stay on top of your spending. You don’t really need that new dress or pair of trainers – but you will need money for your travelcard or your Oyster to campus. Keep a simple budget and look at securing part-time work to support your studies and social life if you feel you can manage it.
Freshers can be a manic time, so remember to keep yourself safe and healthy. Meeting new people may lead to all sorts of weird and wonderful things, but don’t overdo it at parties, keep your wits about you, and don’t get involved in anything dangerous. Travel in small groups at night, let your friends know where you’re headed; keep doing all the simple things that you already do. It’s worth remembering that there’s always a Student Support team on site that can help with all manner of enquires, personal and academic: if you’re feeling low or if something’s happened, make sure you talk about it. Everyone is here to help!
The bottom line
Studying at university is everything you probably wished for. Yes it can be a little frightening at times, but you have a huge opportunity to jump right in and start your career with a bang. Smile and take that leap of faith. You can do it – and you’ll never look back!
JD Donovan Industry Liaison, London College of Creative Media (LCCM)