The first few weeks of uni are both terrifying and exciting. It’s a new situation and, like everyone, I was slightly stressed. However, I had a great time and it turned out that many of my worries were unnecessary. Here are my top tips on how to make the most out of your first weeks at uni. Hopefully they will make it all easier for you!
There are many different activities in the colleges during Freshers’ Week. They are a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, especially since there are always events both for drinkers and non-drinkers. To participate in the college activities, you need to have a college wristband. It’s useful to buy it, but you don’t need to stress about getting it very early; there are enough for everyone.
However, don’t feel too pressured about making friends in the first few weeks. From my experience during Freshers’ Week, you meet quite a few people that you’ll never see again, and that’s perfectly fine! There will be plenty of opportunities to make friends later on in the term as well. You can use this time to get to know the city and discover places on campus. They will become more familiar to you and you’ll settle in quicker. Also, it’s always useful to figure out what’s where on campus (everyone gets lost in the first few days!)
Freshers’ Week is also a great time to get to know your flatmates. For me, they were the first friends I made at uni and I spent the majority of the Freshers’ Week with them. It’s good to create a nice and friendly atmosphere in your flat from the beginning as you’ll all be living together for a whole year.
Many societies have their first meetings at the beginning of the term and the first weeks are a great opportunity to try them out, either with your already-existing hobbies or completely new things. My advice here, though, would be not to judge the societies too quickly. In the first weeks, there’s a lot of random people coming to the meetings so the atmosphere usually changes later on and you get then more of a nice community feel. Also, it’s worth remembering that you can join a society at any point of the year. I personally found it helpful to keep myself busy during the first weeks, but you might prefer to have more free time and think about the societies later on.
Chores like cooking or shopping are quite easy on their own, but they do take time. It can be tricky to learn how to manage your studies, social life and everyday chores on your own for the first time.
My advice is to have a few go-to easy recipes figured out before you come to uni, so it’s easier and quicker to prepare meals. You can also consider either catered accommodation or the Meals in Advance deal if you don’t feel up to cooking every day.
When it comes to shopping, take the time in the first weeks to get to know the city. It’s useful to know which supermarkets are close. Since you’ll probably have to learn how to manage your money, it’s good to start thinking about it early and not to worry later on.
When it comes to the studies, it’s worth figuring out a routine. See what place (library, your room or a café) and what time of the day work best for you. Then, you can be much more productive!
Try to go for all of your teaching and do the set reading beforehand. However, don’t stress too much if you can’t manage all of your reading on time in the first few weeks. You’ll be fine as long as you put genuine effort to prepare. The tutors understand that academic articles can be quite difficult to manage at the beginning.
It’s worth going out of your comfort zone during the first few weeks, especially if you’re an introvert like me. However, do remember that there’s no right way of living your uni experience. York has a very inclusive and welcoming community, so the best advice I can give you is to do what feels right for you and simply enjoy 😊