SUBCULTURED spoke to some final year students and got their advice on a few things to know before starting University. Here are summarized some suggestions for all first year students:
Everyone is in the same position
During your first few days in University, you might feel shy to talk to new people. This is a feeling you might also experience on different occasions such as night outs or when joining new societies. One thing you should definitely do is make an effort to get to know new people and always have the courage to go up to them for a chat. Remember that everyone is in the same position as you! They want to meet new people and make new friends that have the same interests and aspirations. Most people experience the same feelings of stress and anxiety spending their first year of University away from home, with no friends or acquaintances; you don’t have anything to lose by trying to connect with them.
Join more societies
Joining societies is fun as you get to practice your hobbies and meet other people who like the same things as you. There are societies for pretty much everything – From music and sports, to sciences and religions, there is definitely a handful of societies that express your feelings and personality. Don’t regret missing out of on chance of practicing what you love with like-minded people. And who knows? Maybe you end up getting involved in the committee, founding or co-founding your own society or discovering a new passion and new talent by trying out something new!
Join as many events and nights out as you can
You might not be the biggest party animal ever, but there is definitely the right event for you. Going out is almost always a fun an interesting experience. Some friends will get drunk and do something that will make you laugh until your stomach hurts, you will meet and talk to new people, you will dance to your favorite tracks and in general you will have a night you never forget.Don’t get FOMO and regret not going out with your friends! Plus going out will become harder and harder once you get close to your final year (lots of studying!) or when you start an actual job.
Balance studying with fun
A lot of us get caught up in having fun and meeting new people in University, that we forget the main reason why we came here: studying what we love. The best way to go is to try and balance both sides. You should not miss out on the fun of being a student, but you will thank yourself later if you do pay attention to your studying equally. Don’t miss your 9 AMs just because it was too early to wake up (yes, some of us struggle with early lectures, but don’t forget that you are paying for them and if you don’t go, you will miss out on valuable information!) – Make sure you sleep earlier the night before, set a few alarms, grab a coffee from Starbucks and you’ll be ready to go. Don’t forget to also make the most out of your tutorials and labs, as that is where you get to actually have a more practical view on each subject and ask more questions. Don’t be afraid to visit your tutors and ask for their advice; most of them will be more than happy to make some time in their busy schedule to assist and guide you as much as they can. Lastly, you can always ask for help from your peers and fellow students, or study with them, as getting other people’s takes on subjects can be a great solution to some of your questions.
Look for volunteering opportunities within the Union
The Union has many volunteering opportunities to offer within and off campus. Having participated on one of these programs myself (helping students as a Surrey Freshers Angel) I can assure you that the feeling of doing a good deed cannot be compared to anything else; And that all comes with the convenience of having the Union’s guidance and assistance. It is an opportunity that you should not miss out on, as the volunteering is more organized and targeted than and individual attempt and it is a good way to start if you have never done something similar before.
All in all, the most important thing is to not forget that being a student means having fun while learning new things. It is definitely going to be an amazing year that you will always remember and cherish no matter the circumstances. Enjoy yourself!
Text by Elpida Komianou
Featured image by Rebecca Cofie.