You’ve unpacked your room, met your flatmates, and now it’s time to settle into university. After the initial buzz of moving in and Freshers’ Week, the reality of university life sets in. The highs of new friends, nights out, and exciting hobbies arrive alongside the lows of homesickness, deadlines, and hangovers! Your first term at university is an amazing time to have fun away from home, but everyone experiences wobbles along the way. It’s important to know how to manage these when settling into university.
Meeting new people
As soon as I moved to York, I was excited to meet as many people as possible. Everyone at university is open to meeting lots of new people, so it’s a great chance to meet people you perhaps wouldn’t have socialised with before.
Lots of people worry about meeting their lifelong besties in Freshers’ Week, but don’t worry if you don’t find ‘your crowd’ immediately. Of the people I hung out with in Freshers’ Week, one of them is now one of my best friends but I haven’t spoken to some of the others since. Some of my closest friends at university I didn’t meet until term two or three.
I love having a wide network of friends from different courses, societies and colleges. Getting out of your room and meeting people will help you overcome any homesickness, but equally don’t stress if you don’t find your BFFs immediately.
Trying new things
I’d summarise my time at university with the phrase ‘there simply isn’t enough time in the day for everything’. Arriving as a Fresher, I was keen to try as many new things and possible, and with 200+ societies there’s plenty to choose from. During Freshers’ Week, I attended an event run by the student union Women’s Network called ‘Pizza and the Patriarchy’ and I’m now on their committee. Throwing yourself into student life is one of the best ways to settle in. You’ll have great fun, meet new people and it can be a good (or bad) distraction from looming deadlines!
Some of the best ways to get involved are student volunteering projects. I’m part of the team who organise Free the Flow, a group seeking to eradicate period poverty on campus and reduce the stigma around menstruation. It’s really valuable to give something back to the community, and will help you develop a lasting connection with York.
Your first few weeks at university will inevitably have some wobbles, and you may get homesick at times. The most important thing is your mental wellbeing, so talk to your supervisor – don’t be afraid to ask for an extension on your work if you need one. I find the best way to tackle any homesickness is to keep yourself busy. For me, this involved attending every single Sunday Revs (one of the main clubs in York) during first term. This may not have made my bank balance feel so settled!
It may sound cheesy, but the memories of your first few months at university will stay with you forever. So whatever you like to fill your time with, make the most of the opportunities you’ll have at York.
Read more about settling into university.