University: What To Do When You First Get There (Some Tips for When You Arrive).
Previously we have looked at things to do and organise before one goes off to university:
Previous: Before You Go To University
- University: Before You Go
(UK readers) Some helpful tips in preparation for heading off to University
So, onto when you actually arrive at university...
- Prop open your hall's room door. People are likely to poke their head in. Add a bit of music to draw them in.
- In the same way, don't stay in your room. Go and wander, say hello to people, get to know your neighbours.
- There are standard questions that everyone asks when they first meet someone at University: Name, Course, Halls, previous location. Be prepared to ask and answer these a lot!
- Going out every night until the early hours may not be your thing, and that is totally fine -- but do try and get involved in a few things, a few nights out, it's a great way to meet people beyond halls/courses.
- People often immediately join with the people in their halls, and it is fairly true that the people you first meet often aren't the friends you make for the rest of university (and beyond). If you feel like you're not fitting in with a group of people, don't worry, there are plenty of others.
- Don't wait for others to make the first move. If you've met someone who you think you could become good friends with, get in contact. It's likely that they will be equally glad about it.
- Think about the societies you'd like to join -- don't just sign up to loads and go to none of them, pick carefully. These are another opportunity to meet people, with similar interests.
- Although first year doesn't count, do try and get into the university work habit. Remember there's a library and that secondary reading is a must. Remember that seminars and lectures are only a stepping stone for your own work and research. Learn the styles and levels expected for university essays. Don't leave it until second year when the marks actually mean something.
And most importantly, remember: If you still don't feel right even at the end of the first term, DON'T DESPAIR. Although it may not seem like it, many people probably feel the same, and finding new friends, getting to grips with your course, finding your way around does NOT happen in a week, or a even a month. It's an on-going, changing process that continues right the way through university. It's when you stop worrying and get involved that the pieces start to fall into place.