Published: September 18, 2018
Get your first year of uni off to a great start with my survival guide.
Attend the freshers’ fayre and get the most from it
My first freshers’ fayre at the University of Sunderland was brilliant. There are lots of stalls to visit whether it be sports teams, societies or local businesses. The day is always action-packed, busy and full of fun (with lots of freebies).
One tip I would give first-year students is to not sign up to every stall you see but to instead gather all the information you can about what you're interested in and then take some time to decide after.
Getting to meet new people
My best friend and I always laugh when we think back to the first day we met each other. We were standing by the door to our building and we asked each other whether we were studying the same course. I guess everyone is in the same boat when you come to University so it will be a little awkward but you will eventually find your own friendship groups within the first week or so. If you are nervous to make new friends, use an icebreaker question, simply ask about the course they are studying or whether they know where something is in the building.
Everyone is in the same boat, so don’t feel as if you are the only one feeling this way.
Make yourself at home
Even though I personally live at home, I have heard that the first time you are ill and away from home is a tough experience. Freshers' flu is no myth, and being ill with no local doctor's surgery can be a bummer on your freshers' experience. Take a few minutes when you arrive at the University of Sunderland to find out where your nearest GP is and sign up, it will always come in useful in the future. You can always ask someone at your freshers’ fayre if you need help locating one or further information – everyone at the University of Sunderland is so friendly!
Don’t be afraid to admit that you are homesick
Your first year of university will be an array of different emotions as for some, it is the first time you will be away from home. If you can, try and visit your friends and family as often as you can, or arrange phone calls and video chat to stay in touch. Throwing yourself into all the activities freshers' week offers can really help take your mind off things, and if you are ever feeling down, you can always chat with your flatmates. Chances are they have felt the same too.
Suss out the support services
The University of Sunderland is known for being really supportive and friendly. There are a number of support services available, from Health and Wellbeing, Disability to Sunderland Futures and it is worth knowing where they can be found should you ever require their services. All these teams will attend the freshers' fayre should you wish to find out more about them and what they can offer.
Most importantly of all, remember to have fun! Freshers' is a once in a lifetime experience and can really add to your overall university experience.
You can find out more information about welcome week on the gateway website.
Topic: Advice and tips