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Lowri-RobertsThere are so many things to think about when you first get to university. The most crucial time will be at the start of term when you have just arrived and likely aren’t too sure of your surroundings or who you should be spending time with. These are a few handy tips that you may not have thought about to help you along the way.

Know your way around

One of the most important things is to get to know your surroundings and even though it may all look extremely confusing to start with, you will eventually feel like you’ve always been there. Start off with knowing the basics such as the location of the laundry room if you live in halls. Move on to broader areas like the location of the town centre or campus and the best route to get there. This can be a great opportunity to explore with new people you may end up being friends with.

Beach---Lowri

One of the most important places you need to find – the beach!

Make the most of freshers’ week

Freshers’ week is a great opportunity to meet new people and attend events specifically designed to help you settle in and have fun. The Freshers’ Fair is a great way of meeting new people, seeing the variety of services available on campus and obtaining loads of freebies. It is also a chance for you to see the clubs and societies available for you to join, ranging from quaint baking societies to some quirkier clubs.

Attend initial sessions

Sometimes it may seem like the early sessions don’t really relate to you but if you have nothing important to do, my advice is to go to them. You may learn something and again, it’s a great way to meet your course mates. It is also a good way to find out where things like lecture theatres are located and where the postgraduate area is in the library before the real work starts.

PG-library---Lauren

This room is located on the first floor of the library.

Insurance

Be smart about your possessions and even though you may not understand exactly how things like insurance work, make a point of finding out. It is important to protect your belongings if the place you’re staying in does not offer the cover (some halls will). Be careful about the insurance company and package you choose and if you are unsure, you can always ask a member of your Students’ Union who will help you.

Organise your time and buy a diary

Best thing you will ever buy, I promise. And make it a small one so you can take it with you everywhere. Jot dates down as soon as they’re mentioned so that you don’t have to make a million mental notes in your first few weeks because trust me; you’ll forget most of them.

diary---Lauren

I love mine!

Check your emails

The minute I got my university email address, I merged it with my everyday email account because I knew I checked that one often and I didn’t want to miss anything. It is important to keep up with emails as this is how you will be reached with any activity relating to freshers’ week or to your course.

Leave your door open

One of my greatest investments during my first year was believe it or not, a door stop. Leaving your door open (when you’re there, obviously. And check the fire regulations too!) is a great way to interact with those you’re living with and means you’re perceived an open and friendly person. As an additional tip, bring little things with you to make your room personal as university accommodation is so generic, it needs a bit of creative flare and a personal touch to make it feel like your room.

doorstop---Lauren

My friend loved mine so much, I got this picture a few days later.

Don’t panic

Lastly, do not panic. Everyone is in the same boat as you; unsure of where to go and how you are going to make new friends. Put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone. Talk to everyone and ask questions if you are unsure of anything. You will find that people are relieved when you voice your confusion because they relate to you and its one of the ways you get to know people early on. Most importantly, go have fun.

By Lowri Roberts