University is said to be one of the most exciting times of your life, your chance to meet people from all over the world and try new things whilst acquiring new knowledge in your chosen area. Moving away from home can, however, seem scary at first. But, do not worry! The Welfare team (and all the reps!) are here to get you through any initial worries you may have. Here are some tips to make your Induction Week run as smoothly as possible.
Your list of things to do before you leave home and fit in the ever-shrinking space left in your car is probably already miles long but here are a few essentials the rep team think you might need:
- Biscuits- They’re a great ice breaker in helping you get to know your flatmates, it will also automatically make you popular amongst hungry, hungover freshers.
- Tea bags- everyone loves tea and you can get to know people over a good old cuppa.
- The essentials- warm clothes to brave Northern weather and household things like an iron (though you probably won’t use it all year)
- Pictures of friends, family and home- this makes your room as homely as possible and helps to prevent home sickness. Bring other homely items too!
- Freshers’/course timetable and drawing pins- Put this up on your notice board in your room so you know where you need to be and when, without being panicked or lost.
- Make sure your parents or carers know how to use Skype or FaceTime before you leave for uni as you will want to talk to them even amidst your busy social schedule.
Remember, ask your parents/carers questions about anything and everything before you leave as you never know what will come in handy in the first few weeks of uni! School teachers, friends already at uni, and friends going to uni are also great places to turn to for advice – they’ll all have bits of advice/words of wisdom which you haven’t yet thought of!
Moving in with new flatmates is exciting and you get to meet loads of new people. You’ll be living with these people for at least a year; make sure you make friends! Remember that on the first day you move in, everyone is in the same boat. Being in the same situation means you’ll easily make friends, and everyone teams up to help each other out. Durham selects likeminded, friendly people, and Stevo is known to have the nicest students of the university (there’s no actual evidence for this, but I’m sure it’s true!). Try to meet as many people as you possibly can; they are all interesting and unique and you can never have too many friends. Make sure you talk to your flatmates before you arrive if you are told your block and room number before leaving home. This makes the moment when your parents/carers leave much less daunting since you can recognise friendly faces.
Once the Induction period is over, you may begin to feel a little homesick. Since arriving at uni, you’ll have been insanely busy, and the reps are constantly there to encourage you to get involved. As lectures begin and things settle down a little, it may feel as if you’ve got too much time on your hands – don’t sit in your room alone! See a friend, join the gym, go to KitKat Chit Chat! At uni there are millions of new things to do to keep you occupied. Get involved with as many things as possible, including sports and societies; you’ll soon be having too much fun to miss home (just remember to call every now and again)! Why not join the on-campus gym to clear your fun-filled mind and burn off any extra calories consumed in Induction Week? Keeping fit and healthy is a great way to distress, socialise and stay healthy in an otherwise busy lifestyle. It can also be a great constant when work starts coming in.
If all the Freshers’ activities haven’t fully occupied your mind, here is some additional advice:
- Don’t panic before trying out something new, you will be surprised what you can do when you have to…cooking, cleaning, shopping and looking after your weekly budget suddenly seem a lot easier.
- Call home from time to time, your family will be missing you a lot (possibly much more than you’ll be missing them!) so let them know how it’s all going!
And finally, write down what is going on throughout each day- you can ask flatmates to join you and it is a great conversation starter. Make sure to get involved straight away and meet new people. Don’t be afraid to try new things, put yourself in situations you wouldn’t normally and you will surprise yourself. And, of course, don’t forget to talk to the Welfare Reps if you have any questions or just fancy a chat!