Moving away from home to live on campus can be really daunting but the university offers plenty of activities to make the transition as smooth and as easy as possible. These different events and opportunities make it really easy to meet like-minded people and I’ve made some really strong friends through them.
One of the most well-known events during university is Freshers’ Week. This will kick off your time on campus with a bang and is a great opportunity to get to know your flatmates as well as other members of your college. A range of different activities makes up freshers’ week, with options for those who want to drink and those who don’t. It’s really up to you which events you fancy going to. For my Freshers’ Week, there were different themed club nights, live music and inflatables!
During the week, you will be accompanied by STYCs (second and third year contacts). They will show you around and take you to the different events. Their role is to help everyone settle in, answer any questions that you may have and share their experiences. They are really friendly and a lot of fun!
A little less well known is that we also have a ‘refreshers week’ in January, where you get another chance to meet new people and experience it all over again!
Throughout the year, each college hosts and organises lots of different events. These are normally decided by the college student committees so are designed by students themselves. They can range from big fancy formal events to yoga sessions, to dog petting and everything in between!
There is also college sport. Each college has its own sports teams and hosts leagues, the College Cup and College Varsity. It doesn’t matter how much (or little) experience that you have. I’ve always found college teams to be really welcoming and encouraging. I hadn’t played football since school but had loads of fun entering a friendly tournament with my flatmates.
There are also a significant range of university-wide activities. There are lots of opportunities to play sport at a more serious level with tournaments between different universities. Including the famous Roses which is a long-standing annual competition against Lancaster University and involves many different sports teams battling it out!
The University of York also facilitates personal and professional development. One example is YUSU develops which offers different workshops, activities and training. I’ve completed two 5-week long BSL (British Sign Language) courses through this service which was really fun and rewarding. The university also offers part-time work, internships and volunteering opportunities among other activities and awards that are designed to boost your employability. Through these programs, it’s really easy to meet both other students and employers and helps grow your confidence.
There are loads of different societies that you can join as a student. There are both free and paid options, and they are a great way of getting to know people with similar interests.
In the unlikely event that you cannot find a society for something you’re passionate about, the Students’ Union (YUSU) makes the process of creating your own relatively simple. Societies often hold regular meetups and socials, and I would definitely recommend trying out a few different groups. The first sessions are normally free for paid societies. Plus, YUSU offers give-it-a-go sessions where you can try out different activities for free to see if you fancy joining.
I hope this blog offers some insight into the range of different activities and opportunities available here at York that make moving to campus an exciting and enjoyable experience. I strongly recommend trying out as much as you can and there is always something new going on that you can get involved with!